Hi.

Welcome to my blog! I write, and take photos, and use Photoshop every day. I love learning and surprises and my sweet family and being a transplanted southerner.

Welcome to the Beginner Throwdown. You In?

Are you a beginner at something? Consider this the first move in The Beginner Throwdown Challenge. 

You are challenged to put a new skill on display for the world to see. Have you (or did you) start something - anything - after the age of ~30? 

I'll go first.

Me and my (yet to be named) violin!

Me and my (yet to be named) violin!

I mentioned in my earlier post that I've been playing violin for a total of about 11 months (it's 14 months since I started). And I also mentioned, although it bears repeating, that it's really hard to do. Part of what makes it hard is knowing I'm not there yet. Really not anywhere yet. And being ok with that, and still showing up at the music stand every day.

But I was also pretty overwhelmed with the number of comments and emails from other women, who have started playing an instrument or learning a new skill as an adult. First off: I am so stinking proud of you. You make me want to keep showing up at the music stand, forever.

So, because you make me brave, imma lay this following rendition of my very favorite LDS hymn right out there for you. I just set up my phone by my practice spot, and after a few restarts, here we go! 

We Are Not Too Old. Not Ever. 

I'm actually a little surprised how nervous I am to post this. It's hard to be a beginner, but it's WAY HARDER to be a beginner where other people can see. The "what I'm doing" doesn't matter. The "how good you are" doesn't matter either. The part that DOES matter is this: 

WE ARE NOT TOO OLD TO BEGIN.  

That is the truth for the lie, right there. The Lie? That at 40 or 50 or 60 or 70 we are simply too old to start something we always wanted to do. Music. Dance. A language. Flying a plane. Theater. Woodworking. Glass-blowing. Sailboarding. Hang-gliding. Photography. Gardening. Voice lessons. It's all out there, waiting to be embraced. Made part of you. 

I think that the hardest part is that we're afraid that in our beginner-ness, when we're flapping like baby birds, that other people are gonna think we're too old. Why are you bothering, woman? Isn't it time you just went gracefully into that good night? 

Well, haters (and especially that inner hater who puts this stuff on repeat and keeps us from our dreams), I say hell no I will not.

Until your last day on Earth, you have the right and the responsibility to keep learning, keep improving, keep beginning at things you want to, no matter how many wrinkles (or kids, or miles on your car, or candles on your cake, or aches in your back) you have accumulated. Consider that video up there (whew, so hard to post) your permission slip. I've wanted for years to be able to make music and there by the grace of God, I can.  

Now You: What Have You Begun? What Will You Start?

So here's the throwdown. Let's see YOU in your beginner glory! Have you started playing an instrument? Are you learning a new art or crafting skill? Started taking Photoshop classes (ahem...)? Maybe it's yoga or programming. Doesn't matter. But I hope you share it. So hike up those big girl pants, post an image or a vid or tell a story about what you've begun, and then CHALLENGE someone else. 

NOTE: even if you aren't STILL a beginner, give us an image or a story of you when you were a grown-up beginner. :) 

Consider this your double-dog dare. Let the throwdown begin. And I'll think of a prize. Post here, tag on FB, or let's use the #beginnerthrowdown hash on Pinterest and Instagram. Ah! I can't wait! :) 

xo,

-JS

In Memoriam: Elie Wiesel

I started Violin Lessons at 39.