I have grown up a lot since the story above but I still kind of feel that inner panic when I am getting ready to try something new. This past year someone asked me to engrave a custom monogrammed stamp to use in conjunction with wax. My first instinct was to say no. However, the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to see if I could do it. The stamp I made for myself (several months earlier) worked fine but the handle was a piece of scrap metal soldered on and that would not do for this project. A new handle would be needed and a new skill would have to be attempted: woodturning.
The feel of cutting wood is quite different than that of cutting metal but I instantly liked how it felt, until the first time my tool caught the piece and left an unsightly gouge. Holy smokes, that will wake you up and set your heart into a wild rhythm. My idea for the handle was a little unconventional, a smaller, masculine style knob as opposed to the traditional long, thin handle. During the whole process I was nervous. Even though I was nervous, I found I really enjoyed watching the wood take shape. I was bitten by the bug that my woodworking friends warned me about.
Those moments standing alone on baton twirling day were rough. Looking back, it probably led to my deep rooted inhibitions about learning new skills amongst a crowd. That has never been a comfortable place for me. If you're like me in that sense, I hope that you will find something that sparks your interest enough to step outside of your comfort zone and learn. If a class isn't your thing, consider YouTube. There's an arsenal of tutorials on just about any handcraft (And, as an added bonus, you can watch them in your pajamas while you eat popcorn and take notes).