I'm going to keep it 100 with you guys. I like staying in my little bubble. I'm not much of a risk taker. I like to stay places where I know I will be safe and where I know what to expect. But this past year has been different for me. Instead of staying in my comfort zone, I threw myself into a bunch of new scenarios. This year has taught me that trying new things is an important part of life.
I've recently done a bunch of cool things I didn't think I'd ever do. These situations definitely brought me out of my comfort zone, but I'm glad I experienced them. Not only that, but they taught me some great lessons. So I thought why not reflect on these situations and then share the lessons I've learned?
That's what I'll do today.
3 New Things I've Tried This Year
1. Going to my first ever concert
Before this year, I, Cynthia Divina Ntinunu, had never attended a concert. This comes as a surprise to people because 90% of my peers have attended at least once concert in their lives. I've never been because I never had enough money and I never found anyone worth going to see. I never listen to a full album by anyone and I wouldn't know what to do at a concert.
But this all changed on April 25th, 2018, a day after my birthday. I had the pleasure of attending a Cardi B concert at my university. If anyone knows me, they know that I love me some Cardi B. OKURR!! She is funny, her music is lit, and she's the most adorable pregnant person ever. So you can say that I lowkey partied with Cardi.
My school won a Tinder contest and we got a free concert by Cardi B. Let me just say that the concert was an interesting experience. I was on the floor and it was a mess. Despite not liking the floor experience, I learned that the next time I attend a concert that I shouldn't get floor tickets.
Anyways Cardi was great live. The way she is on T.V. is the same exact way she is in person. She is gorgeous and just amazing. Honestly, my favorite part was seeing her twerk with her pregnant belly.
2. Rollerskating for the first time
You know how people look forward to birthday celebrations? Well, I'm the opposite. I don't like to do birthday celebrations or put too much emphasis on my birthday. But for my 21st birthday, I decided to change it up.
Most people make a huge deal about getting their first legal drink and going out to the bars for their 21st. Since I'm not into drinking I had to come up with something different, something I've always wanted to do. My pick? Rollerskating.
I mean what's better than getting severely bruised a few days after turning 21?
Despite how drained I was after my trips around the rink, rollerskating was one of the best activities I've done this year. I had a bunch of my friends come and it was a great experience. It was cool to see those who knew how to rollerskate and those who didn't (a.k.a me.)
When I took myself out onto the rink, I had no clue what I was doing and I was super scared. I screamed probably a good 75 times. I was soo scared to fall but I only had two big falls, which was surprising. Though I was scared, I'm glad I had the experience and I will cherish it forever. It's the little things, guys!
3. Learning to play the ukulele
The last time I seriously played an instrument was in the 5th grade. I was part of my 5th grade band and I played the clarinet. Let's just say I didn't win any awards for my performance.
Since I quit the clarinet, I've retained the desire to play an instrument. I meet people all the time who play various instruments like drums, piano, violin, cello, guitar, etc. I also live in an area at my school where it seems like everyone except me is musically talented. So I finally decided that it's time for me to learn to play an instrument for real.
Last summer, I took a 2 hour ukulele workshop and I absolutely fell in love. While I sucked terribly, it was fun to make music. From that day, I knew one day I would buy a ukulele and learn.
Fast forward to last month, I gifted myself a ukulele for my 21st birthday. It's not a fancy ukulele but it's great for a beginner like me. It's been hard to pick up the cords and make the correct sounds but it's been worth it. I know that during my boring summer months, I can pick up my ukulele and just strum Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or Happy Birthday. That's a huge accomplishment for me.
The 3 Lessons I've Learned
Trying those things I listed above taught me a lot. I think trying new things is more about what you learn from the experience rather than what you are actually doing. That's what makes trying new things an important part of life. Here are my biggest takeaways from my recent experiences:
1. Failure is a part of the process
Fear is usually the reason why I don't try something. I believe my fear stems from not wanting to fail. I want to do something and get it right the first time but that's not how life works. So I think that if I don't do something, then there is no way for me to fail. But I need to understand that if I don't try, then I'm missing out on a great opportunity. It's the same thing as failing.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to sound like some inspirational quote pulled right off Tumblr but I've found that failure is a necessary component to the process of trying new things. It wouldn't be a learning experience if I didn't fail at some point.
I am learning to understand that things I haven't done before aren't going to come to me naturally. There are very few people who just do something and get it the first time. I just need to accept that failure will be there and that it's okay. Failure is a part of life, and it shouldn't stop me -- or you -- from doing things.
2. You figure out what you like and don't like
Figuring out what you like and don't like is a valuable part of trying new things. After all, when something is new to you, you don't really know how to feel about it. It's only by trying it that you'll really understand it.
I tend to take the pessimistic route in life: I always think I won't like something so that's what makes trying new things challenging for me. But I've learned to appreciate the experience of trying something new -- even if I don't like it, I get valuable information on whether that activity is something I would want to do again.
Take, for instance, my concert experience I mentioned above. I had no idea what a floor experience at a concert entailed. I was shocked and hated it. But if I hadn't gone through that experience, then I wouldn't know better. Now that I know, I will choose to stay in the stands for my next concert.
3. Patience is needed
Having patience is something I've always struggled with. Especially living in a society when we get everything delivered to us in an instant, it's hard to wait for things. But patience is a necessary ingredient in learning new skills.
Patience will definitely come in handy when I continue playing my ukulele -- that one's obvious -- but it was, in fact, part of each one of my new experiences. For instance, I had to wait a while for the concert to start being fun and for Cardi to come out. Also, it took me like 30 times to even slightly roller skate correctly. Patience was key for all of these things.
The truth is, venturing out of your comfort zone is going to be frustrating. Yes, I wish I could just get everything right the first time. But I know once I do get it, it will feel very rewarding. Learning something new will always take time. But with patience, I'll get it, and I'll reap the long-term rewards.
What do you think?
Is trying new things worth it? What are some new activities you've done this past year? We would love to know. As always thank you for reading!