Learning Dopamine

I unschooled through most of high school, so to me, self-educating has always come easy. Since I was in charge of my own interests and education while my peers were still in school (even before bidding adieu to the traditional schooling system), I didn't really associate my learning with my school, which is something many do. This also unfortunately means that once school ends, so does their learning period, which to me sounds like a difficult bet. Yes, you've learned enough to go out there and find employment, and mayhaps even have a satisfying career. But you haven't learned enough.

Among other things, this past year has been one of learning for me, and from time to time, I remember how great that is. Which means, basically, a natural high from learning things, which obviously can't be sustained over long periods of time, yet is enough to power through the rest.

I started taking Russian classes back in January, and in spite of my natural back-of-the-class way, am noticing quite a bit of progress. It started as a means to get out of the house in a time when there really wasn't much socializing going on, but it was also about an interest of my teen years. Russian was one of the first classes I took, when I began unschooling, too. For a time in spring, I must admit I saw it more as an opportunity to connect with new people, and have a laugh, but given the crazy years we've been having, that was worthwhile, too. But I made a promise recently to get serious about it, and now I'm trying to do a little every day, on top of my classes. And you know what? It feels good. When things start making sense in your head feels real good. And maybe that sounds obvious to you, but it's a feeling that, as adults, we don't experience quite as often, largely because we're not encouraged to. Sure, you can take a class for fun, but there's no pressure. You're not actually expected to grow and dedicate yourself to it. Which is a shame, because it gets your brain feeling all funny. Like it's working or something.

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I also decided to take some marketing classes which, I feel, might help me both in my writing career, as well as in my job, creating content for websites. I'm also thinking the certificates might look good on my otherwise remarkably empty CV, should I be tempted by a more traditional job in the future. So far, I'm taking three classes, all in some way related to SEO, marketing, and content optimization, and it's actually really interesting. I'm learning some things, getting to pick and choose the information that I feel actually helps me. But what I like about these courses most is, they're stimulating. They motivate me to want to actually put into practice what I learn, and to do stuff to grow, and maybe help my writing in some way, which I haven't really been tempted to do in a long time, now. Maybe because of the whole pandemic thing, or maybe I was just busy doing different things, but it sure feels good to be doing and learning again.

And I'm learning through my work, too. Since I work with an assortment with very different clients, I'm exposed to a variety of topics. Some exciting, some less so. But I sure have picked up a lot of trivia and information in the past few years. I never expected to like what I do, yet here I am. It comes easy to me, and I usually enjoy writing the stuff. Best of all, it leaves me with plenty of time to focus on what matters really - my writing. It's helpful, too. I mean, only earlier, I was looking over my old writing blog, which I haven't used in about a year due to technical difficulties. And it occurred to me how many things are missing - things I know from my freelance work.

I do wonder sometimes if all this excess of information hitting my brain isn't in some way detrimental. Could it make it harder to focus? Or even more, to just know when to sit back and be quiet? I want to do a lot of things, but often, there's not enough time to do them all, and wouldn't it be nice if there were no things to be done, at all? Just a thought.

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