The Silver Lining of Extra Time
by Daxton Glover, Managing Editor
What an incredibly busy time it has been lately. First, a global pandemic moves the entirety of school to an online-only format. As this happened, quarantines were announced around the globe in order to flatten the curve of the spread of COVID-19 to minimize the casualties from the disease. It is all well and horrible, isn’t it? I find that the silver lining in all of this chaos is that, while under quarantine, there is finally the time to get a start on all the hobbies and skills that you have been wanting to try since forever.
This sounds like a good plan, but trying new things is hard. Something I have noticed in myself lately is that, while trying to learn a new skill, like how to play the harmonica or how to speak another language, I find that it has been incredibly frustrating to spend the time working on it only to be mediocre at best. I am sure others have felt this pain as well, so I want to take a minute to share a message with people who might be struggling to make progress in their new-found endeavor.
Keep trying. That’s the long and short of the message. Keep trying. Unfortunately, skills cannot be learned in real life in the same manner that they are in video games. There are no points that magically unlock a skill. Progress is an invisible stepping stone. This advice may seem obvious until you’re the one having to learn from it.
Something especially important to remember, that I also struggle with, is that you shouldn’t compare yourself to others. Your work is not theirs, your growth is different than theirs, and your circumstances are vastly different. It does you no good as an author, an artist, a musician etc. to look at another person’s work and then put down your own. Listen to others, learn from others, but at the end of the day, remember that the only comparison that matters is between what you were able to create today vs. yesterday. Sometimes they might look identical, but if you keep trying and you keep working at what you love to do, there will eventually come a day where you can look back and marvel at how much your skill has progressed.
Who knows, if you practice enough, you might even be able to get famous off of that skill too.