Things to Learn and Unlearn

Photo: Jordan Nix

It’s a Thursday night and I’m here because I’ve guilted myself into typing words onto the screen. 2 months sitting in the drafts is better than letting this sit any second longer, right? Recent times have been a lesson in distortion, in a chaotic breakdown of everything familiar, and everything we thought we knew. The disappointment when you find out an acquaintance believes in some new world order, or when the price of frozen berries rises from $4 to $5 in a matter of weeks. Welcome to the new normal.

I had a moment last week where I found myself hyperventilating into a paper bag that had previously been filled with dried apricots. That kind of experience needs no introduction. We all know how tiring, stressful and all-consuming it is to be functioning in society right now. Regardless, it was a timely reminder to step back and unlearn. Detach from ego. Remove yourself from the high horse. Stop rolling your eyes into the back of your head when you’re faced with something totally ludicrous. Breathe!

Here we are, things to learn and unlearn.

I can’t recall the last time I charted two markets against each other. Why do I never use charts anymore? I remember when I learned how to read a USDJPY chart, or a USDCAD chart. It used to make me feel dizzy doing the brain gymnastics. Up is bad for the secondary currency, down is good. USD reigns supreme. Suffice to say I got the hang of it after a while. Now I stare at a limit order book for half the day.

Rolling lockdowns and shuttered gyms have made me more appreciative and disciplined about home workouts. I went from being a HIIT gym bunny, to exclusively lifting weights, to deadlifting my body weight, to swimming, to COVID. I’ve totally deprogrammed myself from the (kind of misogynistic) weightlifting frame of mind. Maybe it’s because the penny finally dropped, and I realised I could define athleticism in a way that worked for me, rather than trying to follow what some meat head on Instagram said about it? Nowadays, you can set me out on the footpath and I will walk, and walk, and walk. Gladly. With sunscreen and a hat, sunglasses, or contact lenses, new Asics with pink shoelaces, podcast blaring through headphones, silently admiring gardens. I’ve also stumbled into the world of cardio mat pilates, calisthenics, planks, time under tension and exercising to failure. Surprisingly, I feel more accomplishment from this than from hitting a new PB in the squat rack.

For everything we have to un-teach ourselves, it’s worth remembering how we learned it in the first place. It’s interesting how it so frequently came from a place of self preservation.

Sincerely, Siomi.