Monday, August 13, 2012

the thrills of learning

You’d think that getting better at something would make doing it easier, but here’s the paradox I’m going to stick right in your face: it doesn’t. In fact, it just gets harder. Your gaze has fixed itself on a steep slope somewhere towards a place in the sky, but after taking a few steps, you bump into something, before realising that it is the frame of your own work still down below where you stand (or maybe, float, a few feet off the ground). You fall into the habit of discounting the baby steps you take to move forward and forget to glance back every once in a while to see how far you’ve come.

I’m lost again; periods of total clarity are short-lived, and although I know that it’s by this way that I grow, it isn’t always easy. I’d thought that I’d spend the summer sharpening my skills,  train myself so that I’ll be able to look back and see a huge leap in improvement. Instead, experience caused the distance from where I was to the horizon to lengthen and I ended up rejecting one of the very things that hold my heart. So I started running. I’m good at running, escaping by sinking myself between the pages where I breathed in oceans of printed words. But even that wasn’t quite the same and I needed the strongest fictions with the heaviest anchors to keep me submerged.

It took learning something totally new (I found the post which the link leads to just minutes after I wrote this!) for me to remember the trill of learning. The ‘wow, I know how to do this now!’ feeling that goes in with the new breath of air you suck in, eyes widened in awe of your new capability. 

I think I’ve managed to trained myself to write only when I’m in better feeling moods in hope of creating more uplifting sentences, as opposed to just producing rants. I don’t really know what I’ll think when I look back on these passages, but anyhow, this journey is life and what I’ll continue is grow.


  1. your writing is so beautiful; it feels so heartfelt!

  2. The uplifting is almost never pretty, if you ask me. Rants can be lovely if they feel real.

    / Avy

  3. I love you, Yi Lin! Every sentece in this entry is beautiful. You really are growing a lot, even if you don't realize, each second you become more and more wonderful. I feel so blessed to be your friend.