Learning something new

While out walking my dog Pepper yesterday, I met one of my English students, Virginie.  She was out walking her dog, Vasco (de Gama) and we talked while the dogs sniffed each other’s behinds as dogs do, and chased around following the smells of the forest.  She is the only beginner in our English group, and sometimes struggles to keep up with the class.  I try to vary the levels each week so there is always something for everyone.  So Virginie persists and comes along every week to learn.  She said she found it hard to learn English, and I remembered my first dancing class here in the village not many months ago. 

I joined the class because I love dancing but hadn’t indulged in it for many years and so I felt a little out of place.  Everyone else seemed younger, and to know the moves, but I didn’t.  In the beginning I sometimes came home after class feeling a little despondent, thinking to myself that there was no way I could do this.  But I persisted and eventually I managed to follow the rather complicated (in my opinion only) moves.

Learning something new can be difficult at first and we are inclined to give up when we tell ourselves that we’re just not capable, or that we’re too old or too fat, or too thin, or don’t have a good enough memory, etc. etc.   We give ourselves excuses not to show up in case we think we look foolish. In reality we’re giving up on ourselves, which is a great shame. 

Just off now to rest my twisted ankle!

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