When you are a child, you are encouraged to learn, praised if you learn and master things quickly, and admired if you are curious and like to discover new things. Somewhere between 1st grade and being 28 things change. When you attempt to tell people at Ivy Tech you want to register for a horticulture course that starts at 7am just because you want to learn, everyone gives you a quizzical look. Then try adding that you already have a degree and submitting your transcript from Notre Dame. [Looks intensify]. The interesting thing is that once I reach AARP-age, I will probably be encouraged to “keep my brain engaged” and “try to learn a new skill”. Why is it so hard to try to do the same thing now?
One of my friends, fed up with me talking to her about this, suggested I just tell people I’m signing up for classes because I’m a bored housewife. Another one suggested I just say I’m changing career paths. I refuse. None of these things would be true: a) I’m definitely not bored at home; b) I’m not really changing career paths; and, c) I like learning. So I stick to my story and tell people I like to learn and put up with the looks. Many years from now it will be acceptable again.
Not satisfied with simply learning a new skill, I go all out. I don’t just learn how to drive and park, I learn how to parallel park in between two cars in a space 4 inches longer than our car.
Making a country loaf of bread would be too easy, so I try to master a cinnamon-swirled, berry-filled brioche braid. It’s the competitive side of me. If I’m going to delve into the dark arts of domesticity, I will be the best at whatever I do. There is no professor to grade my progress, no council of housewives to judge my performance (although I’ve heard once you have kids, everyone judges your parenting skills), just crazy little me still trying to hold myself to impossibly high standards. It keeps me on my toes.
As the days go by I’ll share some of the new things I’ve been learning about and post pictures of the growing vegetable plants, flower beds and sewing collections. Don’t stay away too long!