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Learning Languages

low angle view of lighting equipment on shelf

“What is something you wish you knew how to do?”

My list of regrets is somewhat short because if I wish to do something, then I will try to set my mind to it and accomplish the task or learn the skill. That being said, there are many things that I still wish I knew how to do and the two main things that pop into my head revolve around foreign languages and being able to express myself in a more creative way.

I wish that I could play music and I wish that I could write computer code.

“But if you put your mind to things and accomplish them, then why are these things still on your wish list?”

That is a great question and I have tried my hand at both in the past. As arrogant & ignorant as this sounds, because these skills did not come as easily to me as other things, I found it difficult to continue to dedicate my time & resources to them. Then again, maybe it is something that I need to treat like my Morning Pages – or weight lifting. I need to schedule my time and actually put in the work, even if it is only intermittent to begin.

What I have found in life is that if you really love something and you find you have a burning passion for it, you will find the time, make the time, and somehow, some way it will become your reality. I do not know that I have the time currently with all the passions I have ranging from writing to gardening and weight lifting to yoga – not to mention the time spent with family and my 5-month old son. As he grows, I hope he too finds an interest in music and then maybe we can learn together on my keyboard – but as I think about it, yes that would be nice, but I would rather be throwing a ball back & forth or playing with Legos, or drawing pictures and coloring with crayons. To me, that is what being a kid is all about, not necessarily being disciplined and sitting at a piano being punished to play Mary had a Little Lamb, stuck inside while all of his friends are out playing.

Maybe I will change my tune as life progresses.

I find it funny that I could not stick to this prompt for long without veering off and justifying why I never made these things happen in my life. Clearly I am too hyperactive or distracted to sink time into pounding wrong notes when I could be out exploring the world or playing games.

When I romantically think about playing music, I envision that one would immerse themselves into the music and the power of expression would flow through and you would have the ability to express yourself in ways that words never could tell and art could never show. Yet how long until you are able to get to that point? How long will you play Hot Cross Buns – and then how long will you spend on the famous Beethoven piece working to perfect them?

At this point in the development you are simply a technician and I think my problem with it all is that I want to be the magician who can release my emotions through the music rather than recite that which others have created for me to play.

In a way, coding has a similar path and trajectory. There is a ton of learning time – is is a whole new language – and yet I find coding more attractive because it seems like a puzzle to figure out as opposed to a tight rope to be perfectly walked. Of course, you must have your input perfected to get the output desired. With coding, it seems that there is more of an intrinsic AND extrinsic benefit, and it could be subject to much less scrutiny & judgement because you do not perform for anyone, you write the code and it performs for you. The possibilities for the output is endless and you are limited only by your knowledge of the language and your creativity – and maybe the function of the language itself to some degree.

Maybe I am too scatter-brained and lack the discipline to learn the languages of music & coding, and maybe my brain is wired differently to where these are not my calling or where I will find fulfillment in my life, but still, these are two things I wish I knew how to do, and one day will get around to figuring them out.

What do you wish you could do? And what is holding you back from it?

It seems when we desire to learn new things, we often get in our own ways more than anything and the anxiety we build is more of a creation of our minds than a reality of the process of learning.