So I have a confession to make… I can’t drive a manual car, well I can if I have to because I have before (once with a police escort home as I was technically allowed to drive a manual but stalling on Manakau Rd in Central Auckland and causing a traffic jam because you can’t work out what you are doing and trying to teach yourself was quite a hazard!) but it was not without plenty of bunny hoping or gear crunching…
I remember being in Bali with a friend, going to get a hire car to drive to the airport to pick up my then boyfriend (now husband) as he arrived a week into our three week trip. We got in the car after signing all the paperwork, paying and all that stuff and I jumped in the driver’s seat, her in the passenger seat and put the key in the ignition; confident, cool, calm and collected…
Then I realised it was a manual.. panic crept in… I can drive, I have had a car and license since I was 15, but an automatic transmission car. I turned to my friend, “can you drive a manual?! I know the clutch has to be used in conjunction with another pedal, but is it clutch and brake or clutch and accelerator?!”
“I have no idea!” she replied, “I thought you had a full license, can’t you drive?!”
Pride and ego are strong emotions for us as humans aren’t they? “Yes I can drive! Of course I can! I have had my license for ten years!” I snapped back..
So we bunny hopped and gear crunched our way to the airport, by the end of the drive I had indeed realised that the break and clutch was the combo I was looking for (ok I think this demonstrates just how much I can’t drive a manual but my husband thought it was so funny I go it wrong even here I thought I would leave it unedited) but the experience made me feel not only frustrated but incompetent, uncomfortable, maybe even stupid…
And ironically, that’s where you find the most growth, in the tough times we get the most learning… This may seem completely unrelated to anything.. It may seem like an off topic conversation to start with but it’s not..
It was day two of my babywearing consultant training today and that experience, that learning, that discomfort… That was brought to the forefront of my mind… I feel in a way I really relived that experience today, that growth that makes us vulnerable, that learning that pushes you and makes you question everything you thought you knew…
It’s hard to feel like you “get” something and then learn you have to unlearn some of your prior experience, learn new stuff and then practise teaching it to someone else, all in the same moment… I honestly found that a real struggle.
But it’s from the struggles that our best growth comes; being open to new ideas, dropping the ego and pride, being comfortable to be out of your comfort zone, pushing yourself; I am all for these things… But I also wear my heart on my sleeve..
It is in my nature to be sometimes uncomfortably authentic, to be real, I don’t have any shame about crying in front of others, I don’t have any fear of telling others I am struggling… I do this in my day to day life more than our current social norms suggest is appropriate. I am ok with that.
I like pushing myself, I am a learning and education addict, I don’t want to stay stagnant in my life. I want to grow and change and progress, in the words of my late father, “one of the things that prevents “great work” is being to concerned with the status quo…..as an individual I don’t want to become stagnant, dull and uninteresting…” but it’s not a naturally comfortable position for us as people generally, it takes courage.
Someone said before I had started the course about how there are always some tears in these training situations, perplexed, it made no sense to me…
But it does now.
I cried more than once today… I felt overwhelmed, uncomfortable & challenged. I wanted this from this training of course, but that’s not to say that it doesn’t mean it’s not difficult at times.
Luckily for me, I am on this journey with lots of other amazing people going through the similar kinds of things.. I was not alone in my teary moments today that’s for sure, I was not alone in my struggle. And I am grateful for the amazing teachers and peers I am experiencing this with.
Since waaay back in my university days, I remember studying full-time for over three years, achieving and being awarded my under graduate double degree, then I was like, “I love this stuff, I want to do post grad, I want to do a dissertation and my masters!”.
Then that first day and class as a post graduate student.. The first thing my first ever lecturer in this setting said was, “ok you know how for the last three years we have told you this is everything you need to know? Well essentially it’s all bullshit and we don’t actually know anything…” (I studied information management and international business with a human resources major, but that is essentially mostly about people and you know what, people are complex, people are confusing, people are different… You really can’t ever know everything, the unpredictable nature of humans is one of the only certainties in life)..
It is so very true that the more you know on a certain topic, the more you realise you don’t know..
What I do know is this week, this training, this investment I am making in myself, my hopes and dreams and my families future, I think this week will be even more significantly life changing than I realised…
We’re not even halfway yet, I expect tomorrow to be challenged and pushed again and I am excited to continue this journey and learning…
And maybe by the end of the course, my peers in this experience may realise I do often become potentially over emotive or passionate about what I’m talking about, it’s actually not a huge deal for me to cry in front of others or vocalise my struggles (despite this being against the current cultural norms generally I guess..). Or maybe they won’t.
What I do know is I feel very much like I am currently part of something greater, something much bigger than just me and my thoughts, plans and ideas and that’s awesome..
And I look forward to learning more and more and more…
But in Slingababy trainer, Lorette’s wise words, as a lobster outgrows it’s shell there is a period of vulnerability before it grows a new one again. And I am feeling that right now.
I am so excited about what life continues to offer but I am also human; try to be authentic and sometimes uncomfortably honest and honestly, today was hard.
Emotionally more than anything else. But I respect and appreciate the learning in that process as well as how feeling and experiencing these things makes my learning more concrete.
Now I am going to try sleep, despite the mind racing, as I need to let my brain consolidate today’s information, ready and able to take on a whole lot more tomorrow!