There is something school taught me that is more valuable than any salary, job I enjoy, or the expertise and knowledge I carry around. It gave me power. I learned through that crazy hard time that in no uncertain terms:
I can do anything.
This also came with the realization that:
I can’t do everything, but I can do anything.
I may need a lot of time, tools, friends, support, a helping hand, the guidance of an expert, or an added degree of patience. I don’t have to do it alone, I don’t have to do it the first time (in fact, I probably wont) and I don’t have to be a “natural” at it. I may have to approach it 6 different ways or, depending on the difficultly, I may have to sacrifice a lot of other things in my life in order to make time for the learning process. I stopped telling myself “I’m not the artsy type” or the “smart type” or any other type I believed I wasn’t.
There is something rather empowering about this knowledge. I take it for granted and am surprised to realize that not everyone knows this about themselves. It really is true for everyone.
I think I mostly become discouraged when I am trying to do everything. I start to confine myself again, and tell myself what I can or can’t do. Or think I should be able to do it on my own. When really, what I need to ask is: Is it worth the sacrifice? Is it worth all the things you’d have to give up to be good at that thing? What are my priorities and how important is it? Can I increase my ability a bit without needing to be an expert? Is it something Ryan and I can work on together?
In a very weird way, I miss hygiene school. In those really hard times I find I was most humble, malleable, willing to learn and accept my shortcomings. I was more kind to others because I knew I needed a lot of kindness too. In some ways, I was broken. I knew I couldn’t do it alone. I would never willingly go through that again, and yet, I wouldn’t trade the way it changed my life either.
It also taught me to embrace the hard stuff. It’s supposed to be hard and it’s okay. It can be a good thing. Some things aren’t worth doing unless they break you a bit and make you see the world differently. So, for that, I am grateful for the hard times (at least when they are over). I still don’t walk into them willingly, though. =)