Last week I wrote a post about adding some simpler, less monumental, things to my Life List and I received a comment from one of my friends about all of the completely kick-ass stuff she's been doing over the past year. My first thought - which I promptly told her in an email - was "Damn! Uh... YOU should have the blog, not me! Also, can you write something up about this, I feel like people would be interested."
As it turns out, I know you all quite well because I immediately received emails along the lines of "who is this Funessa person? She's done some stuff I want to do" and "that comment was spam, right? that person didn't actually do those things, right?"
Well, she did. And she didn't even need the fridge list like I need, she just did it! So here are her thoughts on kicking ass and taking names... all while shooting a gun and drinking beer out of a cup she made in pottery class.
Chances are that if you've sat down and created a Life List, or lovingly created a wish board, you have a great affection for yourself and your mind. This past year I was set free in many ways and I have been relishing it. A few items I was able to cross off my list are: throw pottery on a wheel (successfully), forge iron, weld, jump a horse both English and Western style, shoot trap and skeet, fire a handgun safely, and master Hollandaise. On my short list right now: butchering, triathlon training, and sewing.
How was I able to learn all of these things? I got back in touch with my curious little seven year old and ASKED. That is right. Most of these amazing things I've done this year were totally free or on the cheap because I asked if I could visit the farm, forge, studio, gun club and check it out. People who have a specific craft or skill are usually so happy to share what they took the time to master.
While I don't have a list, I do have general goals that I keep in the back of my head. They are constantly changing, so I just go along with the flow, list-less, as it were :) I am a pretty curious girl by nature and have been learning by the seat of my pants since I was a kiddo. If I want to learn more about something, I seek it out. A great example of this is a recent experience I had learning how to forge and weld steel.
It was something that I was always curious about and there are numerous works around my hometown and Cornell's campus that I have always admired. I found out that these creations were made by Durand Van Doren, a local artist based here in Trumansburg, NY. We knew of each other, but didn't know each other well.
I ran into him at a local bar and introduced myself. We chatted for a bit and I asked him if he ever held workshops. He thought about it a bit and told me to call the forge and leave my number. He would work something out and get back to me. He set a date and I spent an entire Saturday under his tutelage with a few other students who had also sought him out. They had called his number cold and left their information, hoping to get a return call.
We spent the morning stoking the fire, and drinking coffee, and getting to know each other before diving right in. Durand was warmed by our genuine interest in his trade and made sure we each left with something we were proud of and the knowledge to be able to continue. He even made us lunch.
I am not a very artistic person, but am pretty adept at picking up skills in a hands-on environment. I have been making pottery for a little over a year now and I am all about tactile art. My time out at the forge introduced me to another form of useful and beautiful artistic expression. I will be spending more time out there as my schedule allows.
I can only encourage you to do something similar. At least in terms of finding somebody local, not only to support but also to learn from. Most communities offer annex classes and the like at colleges, but I find the one-on-one time ends up meaning more to both the student and the teacher in the end. You don't have to be unemployed with a trust fund to accomplish many of your list items. All you need is energy for enriching your life to make up for what you might lack in dough. Enjoy!
* Vanessa decided that she should share her triumphs with the world and has recently started a blog called Musings of a Wannabe Dairy Princess. You can follow her continued progress there.