Trying New Things

You have probably heard the phrase a number of times. “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Most of the time, I HATE that phrase.

The main reason I hate that phrase is that it’s usually not true. You should never stop learning in your life. You should always br learning new things. There is so much to see and experience in this world. I want to learn all that I can.

People who say that phrase, at least in my opinion, seem stuck in their ways. And I’m not trying to intentionally call you out. I’m saying that it is always good to learn new things.

We live in a society that has somehow conditioned us that it is only acceptable to do new things when you’re young. Your life doesn’t end just because your age hit a certain number. That’s ridiculous! I know I’m young, but this affects even people my age. There has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while now, but I avoided it because I didn’t do it when I was young. Who cares? I will probably like it better now that I’m older and more disciplined.

You hear the stories of people who go back to college in their 40s or 50s and learn a new career. My aunt has done it. And I think it’s awesome! Sometimes we don’t know what we want to do in our 20s. You don’t have to have your life figured out at any point.

It doesn’t always have to be big things either. Sometimes it can be something small like trying a new recipe or taking a new exercise class. Your brain acts like a muscle. It needs to be stretched and strengthened or else it loses function. Trying something new might definitely be scary and uncomfortable at first, but the more your brain gets used to it, the easier it becomes.

I get really excited when I can increase my weight or resistance when I’m working out. In the same way, I am also really excited when I learn something new and become better at it. When I first learned how to make macarons, my first batch turned out perfectly because I followed the recipe directly. My next like 3 or 4 batches all had issues. I was trying to learn the recipe to be able to make it right, but I didn’t have the memory of what I needed. But once I got them? I remember having a dance party in my kitchen. I was so excited that I had learned how to do it properly.

Trying new things can be risky, but that shouldn’t hold you back. Failure is proof that you’re doing something. Coming from someone who has had a fear of failure, you shouldn’t fear failure. No one is perfect at everything, and very rarely do people get things right at the first try. There is a reason most things start with a “beginner” level of sorts.

When I was in undergrad, almost all of my classes my first year were 100 or 200 level. Do you know why? Because I wasn’t prepared for the more advanced classes yet. I had a classmate in a 300 level course who was a freshman. I’m not trying to call her out, but she didn’t do as well as she expected in that class (to her credit, it was a hard class, and I struggled too). But I think also part of it may have been that she wasn’t prepared for that level of intensity.

Very rarely do you start out as an expert on anything. You shouldn’t let age be the factor that stops you from starting. We’re all on different paths and different journeys. What I like and what I do is probably different than what you like and do. And that’s fine! You also don’t have to like things at 40 that you liked when you were 20. Our interests can change. That’s one of the cool things about being human.

Before I got into college, I was not really a fan of being in the gym to work out. I played sports and thought that was enough. Then I got to college and started doing more bodyweight exercises. I would do some cardio on a machine maybe once every two weeks my freshman year. And it was only the recumbent bike. Then I started working more and being more active and eventually was able to work out a few times a week in the gym with my roommate. But it wasn’t until this summer that I bought a gym membership. I’m now in the gym 5-6 days a week, and I rarely do the recumbent bike anymore. I’ve done my research, learned new things, and I love being in the gym. And to think I hated it 5 years ago!

I can’t make decisions for you. Ultimately it is up to you if you want to try new things or not. But I’ve found in my experience that the risk is usually worth the reward. You might find something you absolutely love. Or you may find something you absolutely hate. But you will never know unless you try new things.

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