This week has been a whirlwind of new experiences for me. Since it was my last week of university I decided now would be a good time to learn new skills, pick up hobbies and attempt lifestyle changes.
My first idea of the week was to try being a vegetarian. As someone who loves chicken I knew this would be a challenge but I like to challenge myself, and I wanted to experience what it would be like to live as a vegetarian for a week.
The first two days I found easy, I was surprised by how little I wanted to eat meat, remembering all the foods I enjoy that don’t contain any. Perhaps it was the rush of starting a challenge. But come day three I began to struggle. I found myself inside my local shop trying to buy a sandwich, only to discover that the only veggie sandwich they had was cheese and onion. It was rather disheartening. Still I fought on.
Come day five I felt like I had accomplished something in myself. I had restrained and not given in to my whims. I only lasted five days, after that I had to go back to eating meat because it became too difficult, always thinking about what I could or could not have was restricting my diet and making it hard to eat meals with my family. I don’t feel like I could ever be a vegetarian but now I can at least say that I gave it a go. I tried. It didn’t work.
My next port of call in the week of trying things, was taking up running. This is something that I haven’t ever wanted to do. I’ve always hated the idea of running but was running out of ideas on what I could do instead for exercise. In the end I finally caved and went running with friend. And do you know what I found? It was actually quite fun. I really enjoyed it.
I enjoyed it so much that I went running by myself a few days later. Now I’ve made it a habit to go running every couple of days, either with a friend or on the tread mill. It’s something that I hope will benefit my health and help me feel like I’ve done something productive with my day.
After this I went on a bit of a high from challenging myself to doing these new experiences. And so, whilst shopping for craft supplies I went on a whim and bought myself some knitting needles. I had no clue how to knit but my friend had started knitting and I thought it might be a good idea to try. So I sat myself down at my desk and watched YouTube videos for an hour learning how to cast on and stitch the first row. It took me two hours to work out how to move on from casting off. I kept trying and failing until eventually I sort of got it.
That was yesterday and now I’ve stitched myself a couple of inches of rows, which will eventually turn into a scarf for me to wear. I feel very accomplished at learning this new skill on my own. It’s something that I wasn’t confident in, but I persevered and finally got the hang of it. In the future I can use this mind set in any task I’ve been set no matter how hard.
And finally for this week I set myself the goal of starting something I have been meaning to do for about a year. I’ve started learning Italian. Only ten minutes a day, a little practise, but it’s a start on a goal I’ve had for many years. I’ve always wanted to learn another language and never maintained the words I learnt in French and German lessons during school.
These experiences may seem rather haphazard and random but for me they represent something bigger than the tasks themselves. They have shown me that I am capable of far more than I tend to think. I am able to try new things and succeed, even if it’s a small success.