PERSONAL: Skills Lust

Every time I see the option to add another language on LinkedIn, I get a pang of longing. Being able to speak French, or Spanish, or Mandarin, would be really cool. I love communication, after all, and being bilingual would open up a bunch of opportunities. It’s just one of many things I wish I could afford to spend the time and effort learning to do. I get skills lust all the time, the desire to broaden myself with a new skill or ability. I never have the time, or the energy, or the focus to ever go through with it.

I want to learn to sing. I occasionally toss a few verses into my iPhone audio memos app, just to get it out of my system and keep the dream alive. I adore musicals, and am lost without my iPod. I deeply appreciate a well-written and well-performed song. I have visions in my head of someday being good enough that I can sing to more than my showerhead. I’ve dabbled in writing lyrics, too, and I really enjoyed myself. My cousin is a vocal teacher and has offered a few times to help me figure out how to figure it out… but I’ve hid behind my lack of time to obscure the fact that I’m just too shy to bring out my singing voice in front of another human being.

I want to learn to draw. I’ve picked up Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain a dozen times or more over the years, intent on learning to draw, finally. I tried almost eight years ago in high school, and got pretty good at the beginner stage, but I just didn’t have room in my schedule for a second art class, the same as my second-level French class. I’ve always wanted to do graphic novels, and it would be so much easier to execute these if I were a talented artist. Even just being able to communicate visually with an artist would be helpful. I’ve picked up a sketchbook and started dabbling in this recently, at least to tighten up the muscles in case I actually manage to get to pursue some kind of graphically-inclined project in the next year or two and need the ability to outline visually.

I want to know everything, particularly about history. This, I’ve made strides on, having picked up more than a handful of history texts since I feel in love with the study a couple of years back. I want to know math, science, geography, politics, business. I want to understand every conversation, every viewpoint, instead of vilifying those I don’t agree with. I want to know psychology, the grey areas that nobody understands yet. I want to know anatomy, engineering, programming. I want to understand the underpinnings of the world we live in. Hell, I want to go back and relearn everything I was taught in grade school, as I swear I abandoned most of that by the time I got to university. What the heck’s a parabola again?

I want to learn game design. Board games, video games, everything. My main Philosophy project in grade 12 was a Philosophical board game, and all through university I occasionally sketched out ideas for video games. An iOS platformer in the style of the SNES games I played as a kid; a sprawling action platformer that would fit like a glove on the PS3 right now. I miss that, the development of an interactive story to play with. I’m not huge on playing a lot of video games these days, just because I tend to get stuck halfway on a part I can’t finish and give up, but I’ve loved them since I was a kid.

There’s probably a thousand other things I want to learn. There’s a whole universe out there, after all.

Will I ever learn all of these things? Probably not all of them, as then there would be no time to actually live the life I’ve set out on. But as many as possible? Hell yes. I want to dig into all of these, while I’m still young and as I get older. For now, I only have time, money, energy, focus for my main mission, which is becoming a successful and skilled writer who can build experiences that thrill and move people. But eventually I’ll be able to support that with other skills. And I never want to stop learning.

What have you always wanted to learn and never gotten the chance to?

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