A Lesson About Learning

My friend Mary always knew how to stump me with her questions.

“If I didn’t go through that painful heartbreak, I’m not sure I’ll be in the same healthy headspace as I am now,” I said one time we were having fries and affogato at a cafe called Coffee Bay.

“You read many books, you study a lot of things. Why did you have to go through something like that just to learn the lesson?”

I couldn’t answer her then.

Months after that conversation, I think I finally can.

The thing is, I can read all about riding a bike or swimming—I could watch all the videos, read all the blogs, and memorize the technique in my head.

But unless I ride a bike or dive into the water, I’d never actually learn.

Reading and learning about relationships is one thing—but being in one and applying everything? It takes time, practice, and of course, a partner willing to learn and grow with you through it all.

We could learn about relationships logically—but a lot of times, especially if we've never had a healthy model of relationships growing up—it’s going to take time, work, and bouts of self awareness.

It’s the same with writing. 

You can read all the books and learn from the best—from Hemingway to Bukowski to Dickinson, from Ogilvy to Sugarman to Halbert.

But unless you show up, practice, make mistakes, write again, and repeat?

You’ll never write anything worth remembering.