Everything I ever needed to know… I learned on my own

by | Jan 17, 2020

Some years ago I came to the realization that everything in my life that I have done work-wise that really means anything to me, I have had to learn myself. From scratch. In college I majored in Art (I know, I know….!!  Wish my parents had beat me over the head and made me major in something else) and most of that time I was an artist without a medium.  I mean, I liked everything, painting, screen printing, sculpture, pottery, enameling, I’d tried it all — but none of these really spoke to me.  They were just fun to do.  Then one day between classes I went into the Karl Drerup Art Gallery located in the art building ….  and fell absolutely in love. There was an exhibition with batik paintings, they were so beautiful! I immediately knew I had to learn how to do this. THIS spoke to my heart and my head. It was so gorgeous – and complicated. I was taking a Crafts course and even my Crafts professor had no idea about it so I had to learn it all myself. There was one book in the library and I went from there. Now, batik is my medium and my Art Love of My Life.  I 100% taught myself how to do it – all during naps my baby took. As time went on and he was going to school, I learned several variations on the craft and really starting producing.

But though I made some money, I didn’t make a lot.  Surprise!  So I remember cold-calling people in New Hampshire asking (basically) if I could get a job with them and learn Photoshop. Despite my initiative I was assured the learning curve was way too high for someone to train me in that. Of course now I know that is true. But one of these people told me to learn HTML and build web sites. So I took that as a gift and was able to get a couple books (and then more and more books) and taught myself not only HTML but CSS and everything to do with web design eventually.

Like Bruce Springsteen, I had a bad desire, and was on fire.

So I taught myself web design back before there were any classes in New Hampshire or even online for such a thing. I didn’t have money anyway. I learned everything – from books. Some books I got from libraries and some I bought, in fact at one time my bookshelf was almost all yellow from all the “Dummies” books.

So I built web sites and later worked as web designer at a company for ten years and long story short — building web sites is not like it was back in those days.  Sooo much more to know.  So here I am again, reinventing myself. Learning new things and teaching myself yet again to do all of the things I want to do in the future.

I think it helps keep the brain young and working.  There are so many stairways and so many steps to take … but bum knee or not, I will do it. I have to believe in myself.  Have to be resilient.

Have you had similar experiences in your life? Have you taught yourself something from scratch that means the world to you? Have you worked at home while raising your children?

Have you had to REWIRE your life? I’d love to hear your stories.


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