Embracing being bad at things

A set of watercolours, paintbrushes and a notebook on a wooden desk.

As something of a perfectionist I have always struggled with feeling ok about trying out new things and being...well, bad.

I stare at my lopsided flower painting in dismay...yellow paint dripping mournfully from a sunflower’s well endowed petals. I have never seen anything worse. I have never frowned so hard in my life. Frustrated, I sigh and reach over to rip the page out but at the last moment, a hand snakes forward and snatches the art journal from my desk. My partner dances away at my cry of annoyance and holds it up to the light. "I love it", he says.

Guess it's time to fess up, folks. I hate being bad at things. This year I have started to realise that I do not really have anything outside of university. I don't have any hobbies, skills or just fun interests. I mean stuff to unwind too, not volunteering or extracurricular.

In the absence of owning a garden to grow things in or a large kitchen to bake, I decided to give painting a hand. I dug out some old paints and brushes from the first year of uni when I had this very original thought first. I set up my desk and had a go.


I felt like I couldn't achieve anything right. I wanted to give up straight away. How could I be this bad I thought? But my partner’s comment got me thinking.
I think I need to start rethinking ‘bad’. Can anything be objectively ‘bad’? In fact, if I am constantly measuring the value of things by my success at them, how the heck will I ever enjoy them?

Oooft deep philosophical moments, sorry. But in all seriousness, I am not trying to excuse my poor painting skills. I think it's just been something of a personal journey for me to realise that while I may not be good at painting, I enjoy doing it and that is OK. I may never be a Picasso but if I can take even a bit of time from studying and stressing then I will have succeeded in starting to manage my personal wellbeing for the better.

Tagged in Hobbies, fun, relaxation, What messes with your head