I had lunch with an old colleague the other day. She was excited to tell me that she’d been inspired by my extracurriculars — the classes I was taking outside of work — and finally started learning singing. She had never thought of learning new skills as an adult before.
I’m here to tell you that, yes, you can learn new things as an adult, and yes, it’s awesome. Sometimes it’s a welcome break from your day job, sometimes it relates in unexpected ways to it, and sometimes it becomes your next job! Here’s a roundup of the new skills I’ve learned in SF:
- art (figure drawing from the 23rd street studio, pottery from Randall Art Museum, mosaic from Sharon Art Studio, painting from BeyondCanvas)
- sewing (from the super helpful Laura at SF Rec)
- crafts (woodworking, jewelry making, screen printing, terrariums, all atWorkshopSF, sign making from SCRAP)
- electronics (from a Noisebridge workshop, never made it to TechShop)
- cooking (knife skills from Chef Joe, dinner from First Class Cooking)
- singing (group lessons from studio ACT, individual from Sammy)
- improv (from Leela SF)
- acrobatics (trapeze from Trapeze Arts, trampoline from SF circus center)
- voice coaching (from Alicia Bales)
- interpersonal skills (from Stanford’s touchy feely class and their compassion cultivation class)
There’s so much more you can learn in SF, of course — this is just to get you thinking about what you might learn and where. To find a class for whatever you’re interested in, I suggest starting with SF Rec (they’re subsidized, so they’re cheapest), then search Yelp and Google. You can also look at the online catalogs for local community colleges, usually quite affordable.
You can then try to find a friend interested in taking the class with you. Email any that are top of mind, or broadcast your intent on FB. Taking a class with someone is a great opportunity to bond — you’ll both get to fail in front of each other, get those vulnerable juices going! A caveat: if your friend isn’t a “Hell, yes!” about the class, don’t push them to register—in my experience, they’ll probably drop out, or you’ll spend the time worried about their enjoyment.
I’m actually posting this on the day that I start a 4 month Buddhism retreat at the Nyingma Institute. I took a 3 day workshop there a month ago and now I’ve decided to go deep. You never know where a class will take you! :)