Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Perfect Poison


That's what I'm doing lately, and it's only myself I have to blame. I have a sense, a frenetic need, to know everything I feel I should know with an impossible immediacy. What I mean is...

I give myself NO learning curve -- None.

I know better. I taught for almost 10 years, and I understand the way the human brain works. And, yet, with myself, I demand my cerebral nature circumvent this rewiring process in order to provide an equilibrium I should not expect. I read once, in light of liberal paraphrasing, that true learning induces an inner dissonance - a deliberate, internal dis-harmony, if you will. All the while, I tell myself there ought to be no ripples on the surface, no ruffled feathers, no outward manifestations of my schema reconstruction.

Not only is this unfair, but it is wholly unrealistic. Who am I that I believe I can rewrite the learning process to protect my vanity? Who am I that I feel I should be protected of these feelings of inadequacy or self-doubt, in order to avoid self-evaluation. This need, this completely ridiculous expectation of Perfection is poisonous to my own development.

When did we become so concerned with appearing as though we have it all figured out? When did we decide the only capable people are those who never "don't know"? When did we determine the need for perfection in a skill or idea which is still only in utero, or at the very least, still in the wet nursery?

I have forced myself to pull back and take stock of the situation in a very brutally honest way. I have no hope of having it all figured out any time soon. I am not going to bed down tonight and wake in the morning a prodigy with complete knowledge of all aspects of this business (or my life, for that matter).

Let go. Control is not believing in this fairy tale of Perfect Understanding right out of the gate. Control is knowing there will be some things which stick, some which don't, and realizing I can come back around again to pick up what I don't get on the first go. In the mean time, this poisoning of self must stop. On days when I feel I know nothing, I'm probably right. Still, I should also write a list of all the things I know today I didn't have an inkling about yesterday.

If I can give the rest of the world permission to declare, "I don't know," then I had certainly better grant myself permission to do the same.

I don't know...and the world will keep turning.