On Learning: Impatience and The Process of Taking a Rain Check

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“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” – Heraclitus

I can be impatient when it comes to learning. I want to understand everything that I’m learning about immediately. But that’s not how it works, unfortunately! I have trouble with recalling information, which makes utilizing what I learn hard, but I’ve been trying to compensate by doing rote memorization for things such as vocabulary building (Memrise is pretty fun for this) or memorizing the routine of household chores so I don’t forget to do a chore which has happened on multiple occasions. It also called for emergency scrambling because of how unprepared we were, and I end up a mess with my lack of emotional regulation (which I am working on!). It’s a tough life being unmedicated as an ADHD person after having been medicated for a while – I can tell the difference from the days when I was medicated and when I’m not – but it’s livable as most things I’m actually required to do can be done unmedicated. It takes a lot of patience, which God bless my SO has been showering me in, and most things end up a success with the combined powers of my SO and I. I truly feel blessed by God with having my SO. I’ve learned so much from him, and what works for the two of us. Learning never ends.

I also take the time to think deeply on subjects that I’m learning about, especially when I’m willing to read and note-take (and sometimes application) for hours on end about whatever it is that I want to learn. Those days can be fun as a few times I get into flow mode. Other times, it’s more deliberate learning.

Overall, you just have to enjoy the journey, not just the end results. It’s hard sometimes to be so wanting to understand something but for some reason, it’s just not clicking. You go through all the steps leading up to it, and yet something is still wrong, but in the massive number of steps taking, you don’t even know where you went wrong. Those are the days where I need to stop, put it off for a while, and then come back to it and rinse and repeat. Eventually, even if it’s years later, if I’ve been revisiting enough and each time putting in genuine effort and perseverance, I start understanding more and more even if I never fully understand everything. Each time I picked it up and tried again, especially in foreign language, gets me a little further in understanding each time that actually sticks.

Going back to Heraclitus’s quote, I identify with it with the way I learn. I do sometimes feel that when I’ve reread a book after having not read it for several years. Metaphorically, for me at least, neither the story nor I am typically the same as the first time I’ve read the book, and that’s why I identified with Heraclitus’s quote. I’ve reread books that I’ve remembered the general plot, but the narrative itself struck me differently as I noticed and examined the book more closely than I did the first time around. This taking of a rain check of promising to come back later and revisit what I originally wanted to learn is something that happens enough times that I’ve come to appreciate how much it works for me in attaining knowledge that I’m persistent enough to chase throughout my lifetime. Learning never stops; learning never ends. Even if you have to set it aside for a while because you’re not getting it and returning to it later may cause a considerable improvement. It took me years before I gained a basic understanding of reading Shakespeare despite having to read him throughout high school. It wasn’t until my last two years in my undergraduate study in English Literature that I had some kind of breakthrough of being able to think more critically on the Bard and his works, and even now there’s a lot that I can still learn. The journey is still on-going – it’s fantastic.