Learning something new is a weird thing. It awakens many emotions inside and touches spots you didn’t even know existed or maybe just forgot.

I don’t know if I ever mentioned this here before, but I went back to school last year. I’m studying Instrument Making at the Music School at the moment, literally learning how to make musical instruments and music theory. It’s a whole new world, a brand new subject, and completely different to anything I had ever done before.

And I must tell you, it’s a challenge!

I have always been pro-learning! I guess I am born to be a student/apprentice, because I am always thrilled when I learn something new from anyone.

I strongly believe learning is an inseparable part of life, but since I’m at school regularly again and experiencing the fun and excitement of learning, the inner journey is grabbing more of my attention.

It’s not just about learning about this new topic, though. It’s the things I learn about myself, too! Such a path takes you from one end to the other, from sheer excitement to anxiety and back to joy and then to self-doubt. It creates thousands of questions in your head. Can you learn something new? Yes, learning is always a part of life, but is this serious, academic stuff am I doing? Why am I doing this? I’m happy that I’m pushing my limits, but I’m scared. What if the lecturer asks me a question I can’t answer? Oh my, we have an exam today, but have I studied enough? What if they laugh at me? Will I be ridiculed if I fail?

And then with the slightest achievement comes a sense of relief and joy, and all the anxiety fades away, at least for about five minutes until the next thousand questions fill your head.

When you do this after you’ve turned 40, it’s a whole different story apparently. Although you are aware of certain things, although you have some life experience, and although you have been a student all those years, it is inevitable for you to question what you are doing, how you are doing it and why.

Which brings me to the next stop on this path: feeling young, excited, and happy. Yes, I do not know everything, and yes, I need to learn new skills. Yes, I might sometimes give ridiculous answers to questions. It might take a while to figure out what is what, because it doesn’t happen quickly and needs time. Being the quiet relaxed person I am (and many friends say this to me as well, so it’s not just my opinion), it really is surprising to see the anxiety, impatience, and fear in me when I become nervous and embarrassed. This really is a path, one where I learn new skills and new aspects of myself.

It’s full of surprises, and it sometimes even feels like a rollercoaster, but it’s still a whole lot of fun…and awakening…

Guldehan Aysan