Learn Up

I’m not a celebrity-gossip guru. I don’t watch television. But I read. Last summer, my boyfriend and I went on an old-school movie-date (ironically to the super old-school now-non-existent Park Road Shopping Center theatre…) to the Glass Castle, an enthralling memoir I read years ago. If you haven’t read it, I would highly recommend adding it to your list immediately.

The dad, Rex, said something in the movie that hit me:
“You learn from living. Everything else is a lie.”

I grabbed my phone…I realize this is total blasphemy and I broke the rules…to take note.

I find myself learning from living every day. A trial and error lesson. A lesson from a someone a stranger or a familiar face. Perhaps a lesson from reading.

How open are you to learning?

I must say, in the literal sense, I wasn’t very open growing up. Learning didn’t come easy. I didn’t love school. (Or because I was “bad” at it, how often do we have those tendencies to avoid something because we don’t think we are good enough?) I did okay in school because I showed up. I just showed up. How often do we need to do just that?

As an adult, I don’t know if I find myself yearning to return to an academic setting, but I find myself eager to learn from living. To expand my brain. If I just show up, who or what can challenge my thoughts? My patterns? What can I read to expand my vocabulary? What can I listen to that sounds different from my usual channels? Politically, socially, nutritionally, personally, etc? What am I going to come up against today and how can or will I react? How should I react? What do I need to take note of, so it is a lesson learned and doesn’t repeat? Do I need to show up for someone else in need?

Maybe I wasn’t open to learning academically because I thought it was a damn lie and felt like reading textbooks would lead no where. I’d rather you throw a wrench in my day; watch me pull it out. With, or without help. I’ll show up for myself if you can’t and/or don’t want to. It’s not always going to be easy or fun, those wrenches and the lessons. Lots will suck. Many will be great. And combined, make us stronger.

As a person of routine this takes a lot to say out loud. It’s scary. It’s unknown. But the fact that we are continuously learning by experience-as long as we show up—is a gift. Do we view it as such? If we don’t, I think damn well we should.