Have you ever wanted to try a new hobby or sport or activity, thinking it was a total piece of cake or that it would at least take a few tries before getting it—only to discover that it’s super, super hard, if not totally undoable? Yeah. Happens to the best of us.
Whenever we realize we can’t just learn Mandarin or excel in a flight simulator or build sheds or start baking without burning everything or [insert whatever it is here] without feeling like our brains are defective, it can be a bummer—but hey, it’s about trying and failing, and then failing better, isn’t it? Or maybe just giving up. Whatever.
One Reddit user, u/DopeBox, posted, a question that yielded some incredibly interesting answers:
Here’s what everyone had to say (so you don’t feel too bad about yourselves):
“Surfing. Really thought my 20 years of skate and snowboarding would help me out. Nope. I got exhausted just putting on the wetsuit. Then trying to paddle and pop up? Forget it.”—work-n-lurk
“Not giving a sh*t. I kept sort of giving a sh*t.”—Anzai
“Dropping everything in your life to go back to college at the age of 29. School isn’t what’s difficult, it’s the fact that I’m broke again that makes it much harder. Hooray for student debt!”—Kumite_Champion
“Drumming. As you become a more technically proficient drummer, you learn that rudiments and sick beats don’t create songs. The truly great drummers can determine what a song needs, and they play within that space.”—Gargoyle772
“Finding a better job once I had a few years experience in the field.”—Varvatos_Vex
“Horseback riding. Because “it’s literally just sitting on a horse, and the horse is doing all the work”. Turns out it’s pretty difficult and physically demanding to get the horse to do what you want it to do.”—Alethiometrist
“Taking care of my aging parents. They say that there is a time when you need to “parent your parents,” but I don’t think that’s a good analogy. I thought I would visit them more, make some doctor’s appointment, hire house cleaners and aides when necessary or maybe find a nice assisted living facility for them. No way, they didn’t want any of that at all. It wasn’t like parenting a child at all, more like needing to beg, plead, demand, or yell for them to allow me to do even minimal things that will keep their lives from totally falling apart and taking mine with it. (And that still didn’t work, writing you here from the broken life I saw coming a mile away.)
Not everyone’s elderly parents are like this, and mine were the most relaxed, empathic, organized people I ever knew growing up. Old age made them difficult and irrational, and they just weren’t able to see things logically or from my perspective anymore, so deep were they in the anxiety, fear, and stress of just dealing with their life.”—zazzlekdazzle
“Singing. Not professional or even in front of people but just singing along to a song. I was just cleaning the house on day and had YouTube playing music vids. “Sweet Child o’ Mine” came up with lyrics. I’ve “sung” this song hundreds of times but I stopped and was reading the lyrics as I sang and, Holy Hell, I freaking suck! I know the words but I was LISTENING to myself sing them. Off key, out of tune, bad phrasing, you name it, I did it BAD. Took me 53 years to realize this.”—pomdudes
“[Learning a language.] Especially when you’re older and your brain doesn’t work like a sponge anymore. Language is incredibly hard to learn when you’re an adult, particularly when you have zero background in that language.”—johng__g
“Waking up early. like just an hour earlier than my usual time and I’m a f—king zombie.’—imreallysorrymom