Things I couldn’t do before lockdown: make a decent cup of coffee, teach English as a foreign language, paint and run a 5k under 30 minutes.
After having William, I fell into the trap of thinking that my life was over. Because the first year and a half of a baby’s life is so demanding and time consuming, I thought that this was the way my life was going to be like forever. Little did I know that the entire world would come to a still stand soon after.
We’ve always considered ourselves coffee snobs (solely because of the fact that we don’t drink coffee with sugar and don’t like Ricoffy) so when the opportunity to do a short barista course came along, we knew we had to do it.
We learned about different types of grinds, variables to change, what a decent espresso shot looks like and milk textures. Since then we’ve probably used up a year’s worth of coffee beans practicing our new found skills.
We had to find a babysitter and we had to pre-plan every little detail around William, but it was so worth it. I forgot how good it felt to be in a learning environment and trying to be better than the student next to you (which was my husband, but also doesn’t matter to me).
When South Africa first went into a Level 5 lockdown I knew I would have to do something to keep me busy. So I signed up for a TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) course online. And I convinced my significant other to do the same. For four months we worked almost every single night. As soon as we put William to bed, we would work until the wee hours of the morning (or 10am) trying to finish the course. We did quizzes and lesson plans and listened to tons of teaching techniques. We are both extremely result-driven people and although the course wasn’t really difficult, it did require our commitment. Now we are both qualified to teach English in Asia and online.
These things might not cure cancer or prevent wars. It might not make me a millionaire and I probably won’t become CEO of anything. These things might not change the world but it certainly changed mine. Because although I am a wife and a mother, I am now also an artist and a fairly good barista. I am someone’s teacher and I can run a 5 kilometre race at a decent speed.
It really is never too early or too late to start something new. And make no mistake, achieving something in one area of your life spills over into all the other areas too. I’m probably not the best teacher in the world, but after doing TEFL I’m a better mother to William. And although I’m not the next Picasso, I can spoil someone with a watercolour card.
You are never too old or too qualified to learn something new. Yes, it takes sacrifice and yes it is daunting but it will never be in vain. You might not be the best at everything, but if you really try you might just find that you’re good at many things.