My experience is that if you want to go paddling, you’d better either find a very reliable buddy, or just go on your own. I learned more by going by myself than I think I ever would have learned from others that I paddled with.
You can learn a lot from watching videos on YouTube now days, but there’s nothing like going out and just trying all sorts of techniques. If you’re lucky, you might meet a nice experienced person who will give you free lessons and offer to accompany you at times.
I have given a lot of newbies lessons, but it takes time for the lessons to kick in and seldom does it work out where you get to paddle with them more than a couple times. I’ve also learned that you have to be fairly careful who you offer advice to and how you go about it. Some folks just don’t want to be told that their paddle is upside down, or that they are paddling all wrong, etc., etc.
Maybe the worst thing you can do is go paddling with someone, or a group that is way more advanced than you are and who takes you into conditions you aren’t ready for. It might take months, or even years before you develop a confidence in yourself and your boat, to where you are comfortable in whatever the water and weather might throw at you. Even then, you have to know your limits and call it a day.