Do Tell, Michelle: Why Do I Have To Be Good At Everything?
You know that saying 'there's no point in doing something, unless it's done well.'
Well I want to challenge that. Who says? Why can't I have a hobby that I'm shit at?
Why can't I just enjoy something for the sake of enjoying it? Why do I have to be on a constant hamster wheel striving to be better and more than I was before.
This year, my goal was to get a hobby that I was shit at. Not so I could improve it but so I could have something where achievement wasn't involved. I chose painting because I'd always been bad at it, but in my vague memory, I remember there was a time I enjoyed it.
I'm going to take you back to seven year-old me. She loved painting with watercolours and she used to do at the kitchen table, after her mum covered it with newspaper because seven year-old Michelle is as messy as 24 year-old Michelle. She had been painting for about an hour when her mum walks in and says one small comment:
'Maybe try staying inside the lines?'
It was a small comment probably every child has been told but it teaches you something unconsciously. It teaches you there is a right way and a wrong way of painting. This activity instantly stopped being about having fun and started being about being good at it. This happened again, when it came to sports. In my school, unless you were on the team, you weren't allowed to play netball. I loved netball, but I stopped playing it at 15 because I was awful at it!
We need to stop placing the value of an activity as the achievement. It stops us from exploring and trying new things. The same thing happened with writing. I always loved writing, but I was always told I had rubbish grammar and spelling. (I still kinda do.) Turns out I had dyslexia. So I stopped writing unless I had to. In 2013, I decided to start again, on the condition that it was just for me and no one would see it. Well, as you know, it's being published next year so things changed, but I would've never put pen to paper if I didn't initially make it a personal goal.
So I want to challenge you. Find a hobby that you are shit at. Don't try to improve. Just try to enjoy it. Be in the moment, be in your body whilst you're doing it and see how much more fun something can be with no pressure of being better!