There is an understanding in the learning and development field that often learning requires ‘unlearning’. We’ve all experienced it. Perhaps as a child, you learned a particular way of holding a golf club, but when seeking professional lessons, are advised to hold the club differently. Or you are right handed, break your right arm, and must learn to do things with your left hand. It’s uncomfortable. Unlearning is uncomfortable. Learning can be uncomfortable. But with that discomfort, comes a new understanding, a new way of looking at the world, in short, learning. And oh, the joy of learning! I am and will always be a learner, a life-long learner.
As I embark on the resettlement process here in Seattle, I feel a great deal of unlearning taking place. Fifteen years away and there have been many changes to the landscape. Where once there was a funky old building, there are new townhouses. Entire areas of the city are now completely unrecognizable. I was giving my friend a tour of the city, my city, yesterday, and repeatedly encountered landscapes completely foreign to me. So as I settle in to my new/old city, I am becoming reacquainted with what was, and learning about what now is. Fortunately, this funky, laid back, eclectic city has retained all the character that I love about it. The mountains are still there. Puget Sound and Lake Washington are still there. Fremont and the U districts are still there. My alma mater, University of Washington is still there. My old house is still there. So, yes ‘my city’ is still here waiting for me to re-engage. And I’m eager to do so!
So, unlearning? Sure, it’s uncomfortable, but oh the joys of learning all that is and can be about my new life here!