Self-Improvement for 99 Cents
It is Goals Month, after all.
I have two regrets in life and they both involve learning.
The first regret is that I gave up cursive at the age of 13 in the name of bubble letters and gel pens for the sake of passing notes. My penmanship slowly deteriorated as I prioritized fast scrawl and shorthand — then later frantic key-clicking via AIM — over a carefully crafted “Q.” The second is that I never learned my way around a kitchen when I was still young enough to develop an actual love for it. Now I just shove my sweaters in the oven for storage and call it a day.
But as all Pinterest users will tell you, one should live life with no regrets. This means I can either whine about not being able to host a brunch and bemoan that I’ll never make John Hancock proud, or I can finally learn how to do that which I’ve previously failed at, while also adding a few new skills along the way. (Extra credit points.)
Considering that we’re in the last week of Goals Month on Man Repeller, I figured it was about time to make good on my word. Enter Skillshare — which is basically a giant online school where you type in what you want to learn (bookbinding, filmmaking, dumpling making) and almost guaranteed, there’s a class you can take. Best part: MR readers get three months for 99 cents total. THAT IS LESS THAN A DOLLAR.
Not only is calligraphy the grown-up’s alternative to a 4th grader’s cursive, it remains in-theme as far as my own life goal to adopt all habits of Lady Mary on Downton Abbey. Plus, now I won’t need to send “I’m Sorry” notes to apologize for my “Thank You” notes that so frequently get mistaken for ransom letters.
Yes I need to one day learn how to cook in order fulfill a major credit requirement so that I can formally graduate into adult life, but to start, I’m cool with faking it. I just need to look like I can cook, and there’s no better way to impress everyone in the kitchen before a huge dinner than by chopping food like a total pro. It’s like a party trick that’s actually useful.
You may recall a goldfish resolution of mine where I said I wanted to draw more. After a month in, I remembered that the problem with drawing is that it requires paper and time. It always feels like a big production, like I’m embarking on a project that I have to get an A+ on, which can take the fun out it. But this drawing class eliminates the need for paper (draw on literally anything except your cat!) and it encourages bursts of lines and quick strokes, making drawing feel spontaneous again — like doodling in school.
Another adult life skill I lack (along with my inability to parallel park or book dentist appointments before it’s too late) is the ability to make a great cup of coffee. I actually can’t even make a regular cup of coffee — my batches always come out tasting like shoe soup. What I like about this class is that not only do you learn how to brew a beautiful cup by hand (way to make a morning better, eh?), but you become something of a bean-sommelier yourself. Or at least that is what I will tell all of my friends I am when they ask if I have a side hustle.
In partnership with Skillshare, offering MR readers three months of access for 99 cents. Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis; In photo: In God We Trust dress, DANNIJO rings, Gentle Monster sunglasses, NARS “Dragon Girl” lipstick.