Much of On Her Own focuses on teaching you more about self-defense and related areas, although those of course do not make up all of the things we might need or even want to learn. Expanding our skills and knowledge is a matter of survival in many instances, but also of curiosity, of interest, of enjoyment. No matter how much we might cram into our brains, there is always more. Often, we start because we realize we don’t know anything at all about a topic, learn enough to feel relatively confident about it, then trip over into understanding that what we’ve picked up just barely scratches the surface. With so many choices about what to become familiar with or dive deep into, it can be overwhelming figuring out what you should devote your precious time, attention, and money into learning. The things you need in order to make it through everyday life are an obvious box you need to check, and it’s also important to pick up what you need to avoid or minimize the threats that might take you away from your life. You shouldn’t forget the fascinating and the fun, though. Those aren’t just about enriching yourself, but also about the surprising effects they might have on the more necessary parts of your existence.
So what is it that you want to learn new? Or learn more about and get better at? You might think broadly or narrowly here: how to cook; how to make a specific dish. You might be practical or fanciful: how to mend a pair of jeans; how to design and make a costume. You might seek joy or necessity: how to play a musical instrument; how to repair your car. The world’s your oyster, as they say, so dream big before you let reality cast a shadow.
Reality is in the resources you have available to pursue the knowledge you seek. None of us have enough of them, whether because we’re busy or distracted with what we have to do with what we already know or because finances are tight. Fortunately, there are many ways to learn. Maybe we can’t get as detailed or as hands-on as we might like, but there are many other ways to dip a toe into a new area. We can read books or blogs. We can watch videos, or participate in webinars. We can attend seminar-style one-shot or short series of classes, or take them with a group. They’re all strategies to reduce cost, fit around your schedule, and stay within the attention span you have the energy for. While we might prefer regular private lessons or some other more intensive form of study, they’re not always possible, so here we are.
Keeping all of those options in mind, what will you actually learn new? Perhaps 30 minutes of digging through a specialty website will scratch the itch for knowledge in a certain area, so you can spend a week away from home polishing the skill you want to become an expert in. Perhaps you can bump a book up to the top of your infinite “to be read” pile and it will be enough to read it a few pages at a time, after the weekly online class in a completely separate subject that you’re going to commit to for six weeks. Or perhaps you will realize that there’s no way to feed the thirst you have for a particular subject, and you must in fact let it go. That’s okay too, but I’d suggest that you try to satisfy yourself with small tastes here and there anyway. You may surprise yourself with how much you pick up over time.
I’m interested in what you’d like to add to your skills and knowledge, so please, share! Let’s explore together all of what we think it takes to survive and thrive, because it’s not just traditional self-defense like guns or even pepper spray.
(Although PS, if you want to learn pepper spray in a short and simple format, sign up for class with me this Saturday at SIG Sauer Academy!)