My New Year’s Resolution this year was to take up a new hobby. Last term I felt so busy settling into life here in the south-west of France as a language assistant that I didn’t manage to join any clubs. Trying out a new hobby is a great way of meeting people outside of work, challenging yourself to speak the language you are learning in a different context. Also you're giving yourself an outlet, be that creative or physical. I decided to take up a pottery class in a nearby town which I now attend every week. I love it! I am now completely potty for pottery!
Having only studied Art in high school as a compulsory class, I had decided that I wasn't 'the artistic type'. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone to take this class has taught me that everyone is artistic or creative in some way. There is something very fulfilling and relaxing about creating something from scratch, moulding it and watching it evolve.
Here are some of the lessons I have learned through my New Year’s Resolution:
Don’t write yourself off.
Just because you didn’t enjoy something when you were younger doesn’t mean you won’t get something out of it now. Try to take a fresh perspective and never assume that you can’t do something because you don’t see yourself as ‘the type of person’ associated with the activity.
Don’t limit yourself – give it a bash!
When things go wrong, laugh it off and start again. My pottery teacher tells me all the time, “Its only clay!” Learn to laugh at your own mistakes and move on. Mistakes are how we learn best. By shrugging it off and beginning again you might just come up with something which is better than your original idea. Great things come from mistakes!
Take a deep breath and give it a go.
Before going into my first couple of pottery classes, I was very nervous. ‘What if I’m rubbish at it?’ I thought. ‘What if I can’t express myself in this foreign language?’ It’s completely natural to be anxious before trying something new but it is important not to let that stop you. Take a deep breath and go for it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain from stepping out of the safety net. Surprise yourself. Your bravery will lead you to new experiences and new friends.
Have you ever done something new that has really challenged you?