I pride myself as a constant learner. It started when I became obsessed with Flash. I wanted to learn everything about Flash. I spent days and nights going through online tutorials. It felt great when I learned to create something new. At first, Flash was simple to learn. It was a visual tool for creating web animation. Everything took place on its timeline. Then Flash introduced ActionScript. I plowed through books after books learning ActionScript programming. Unfortunately, I didn’t get very far with ActionScript. The more Flash advanced, the more lost I got. Eventually, I gave up the complexity of Flash programming and picked up the simplicity of HTML and CSS. I continued to learn as much as I could about web design and web standards.
Working in the web industry, I had to constantly keep myself up to date or else I would become irrelevant. That fear had haunted me and made me want to do something else. Unfortunately, I don’t have any other skills. I kept myself in the game by learning and practicing HTML and CSS. Of course, I needed to know a bit of PHP, MySQL, and server technologies to run content management systems like WordPress and MODX. I have not looked into any new frameworks. I don’t even know what React does.
Despite not focusing my learning on new technology, I am constantly learning something else. If I don’t, my brain would be inactive. I feel the need to activate my brain and to constantly improve myself. I blog almost daily to improve my writing. I read every day to improve my language skills. I try to skate as much as I can to improve my health. I enjoy these activities, but I also feel the burden. Why do I need to learn constantly? Why do I need to improve myself? What am I trying to prove? Would it be OK if I just let my brain idle? Have I learned enough already? Life is short and I will die one day.
I encourage my kids to read, write, and stay active. They are young and they have so much to learn. Learning is much easier at their age than mine. When I was a kid, I didn’t have any guidance to encourage me to learn or to play sports. My mother offered me food on the table and that was her way of raising me. She just wanted me to eat well and do well in school. I missed out so much that I am trying to make up for it now. I am not a fast learner and I recognize my limited capabilities; therefore, I try to take one thing at a time. I become a constant learner. Yes, constantly learning is rewarding, but where am I going with this? What is my end goal? What am I trying to achieve? I have nothing set out for myself, except I feel better about myself. I can express myself in writing. I soaked in more information when I read. Learning to skate gives me some physical activities. Could the pressure of constantly learning keep me from getting depressed? If I have nothing to occupy my brain, I might fall into depression. I didn’t feel so great about my body when I was inactive. I am still not in any great shape now, but I feel better about myself doing sports.
When I started writing this blog post, I had a doubt about the conditions of constant learning. I was not sure if it would be good or bad. By thinking out loud and writing it down, I came to the conclusion that learning keeps me from getting depressed. That’s a good thing. I am doing these for myself and that’s all that matters. I hope I can instill constant learning into my kids.