Growing up, I was the kind of kid who believed in self reliance. I asked my parents to teach me how to cook and do laundry when I was eleven or twelve and that has very much continued in the same fashion as I grew older. When I travel, I prefer to live where the locals live and I would rather take public transportation that shell out for a taxi. I cook things from scratch when I can, rather than buy processed. I’m sure there’s something to say about needing to have control here but I also think there’s something to knowing how to do stuff on your own. It does things to your self confidence. It makes you feel more in touch with the craft of baking bread or putting together furniture. It’s a life skill and we really can’t have too many of those.
There’s still a lot of stuff that I’m terrible at. I’m a decent cook (I attended a Hotel and Restaurant program in secondary school) but I cannot for the life of me make a pie or bake cookies that don’t turn into one big, square cookie. For a couple of years now I’ve accepted this as a weakness of mine, something that’s an integral part of my personality, haha isn’t it funny that the trained chef can’t even make a simple oatmeal cookie? No more. There are lots of people who can bake cookies or whip up a soufflé, so why shouldn’t I? This is something I can and will work on — at the time of writing, I have a batch of soft oatmeal cookies resting in the fridge. I’ll get back to you on how they turned out.
Learning things can not only strengthen your confidence and give you important life skills, it can also be a way to work towards a goal that you may not be able to get to just yet. For instance, I really want to go to Italy some day. I don’t speak a word of Italian, which in this context is a weakness if I want to get around comfortably without relying on broken english from all involved parties. This is something I can work on.
I started using Duolingo about a year and a half ago and most days I spend about ten minutes learning Italian. I’m far from fluent but I’d like to think that if I was dropped in the middle of Tuscany I’d be okay getting around and making myself understood at the very least. The best part is that it’s a free service with plenty of languages available so whatever your fancy, you’re bound to find something new to learn there!
ETA: I’ve successfully escaped the cookie curse. These taste amazing.