Heather Havrilesky shared a recent essay about her voice lessons and practicing a new thing even when it feels silly: “immersing yourself in borderline absurd practices, habits, and behaviors that don’t achieve much, that look laughable or foolish to others, that appear as a burden or an unnecessary hassle on the calendar…”

She goes on to talk about how we all talk about pursuing our passions but the reality of it is just a lot of unglamorous showing up, and wow did I feel that about going to the gym three times a week for five years and watching the weights move up glacially slowly:

Gaining mastery of a new skill is mostly drudgery. You sit down and do the hard work and you marvel at how bad you are, day after day. That’s the road, and there is no end point, there is just more road, endless road. Even though we talk about passion like it’s this heavenly blast of light and sound that drives you forward to greatness, real, genuine passion often feels more like some Cormac McCarthy novel where things go from bad to worse and you never arrive anywhere at all. But somehow (also like a Cormac McCarthy novel!) the bleak trees, the pavement, the bitter cold wind, all of these things are weighty, lustrous. You are almost dead of course, always almost dead, but somehow more alive than ever.