Monday, September 02, 2013

Gratuitous second post today - Studying, such a high!

It's very quiet in the office today.

Quiet - I don't get a lot of that in my life these days, except now, because of studying.

Oh, how I love it - studying that is.

I come in here two or three times a week and get to sit completely undisturbed. I'm getting so much work done that my supervisor is beside herself - and I feel like I'm not even doing enough because of the amount of time I spend online.

I get to buy books and read about fascinating stuff (to me), and not only it is fun and stimulating, it's going to get me a great job doing and teaching about one of my passions - writing.

I guess I'm saying I just don't understand people who shy away from study. Not those who aren't interested in it at all - horses for courses - but those who wistfully sigh when you tell them what you are doing. The one's who tell you they really wish they could study, but they think they're too dumb.

There is no such thing!

Too dumb to study? It just isn't true!

I have the concentration span of a nat, and while my long term memory is pretty good - I can remember all sorts of useless stuff from thirty years ago - my short term memory is pretty much non-existent. I forget what day it is, or what I had for breakfast (now that I'm eating breakfast). I cannot tell you the name of the article I was reading just five minutes ago...

And yet, they let me enter this PhD, and they gave me a desk to work at, surrounded by people who are far smarter than I am (you see, everyone believes everyone else is smarter than them in this arena, it is part of what keeps us striving to learn - so we don't look stupid when we open our mouth and blurt out stuff).

I love that sensation that comes with starting out on a learning trek. At first it's all gobbled-gook. You don't understand much (I cling to all the tiny words I know, and, a, the), and then, very slowly, with practice and often a second or third source of information, you start to emerge from the blurry existence of not knowing to understanding a little bit, and then a little bit more, and then you understand how much you still don't understand (which is a scary moment, but you persist because the knew knowledge or skill makes your feel good about yourself). I find it addictive.

I am not the best knitter or crocheter, and I'm far from being a competent painter, but I have really enjoyed learning these skills. I still cringe at my own writing ability, but then people tell me a story I wrote almost made them cry, or that they are excited by my fresh style, and I feel striving is worth it.

I cannot imagine sitting on the sidelines watching other people learn and not even trying for fear of failure. I really, deeply feel pity for people who live under such a shadow of fear.

Step out into the sunlight!

It is okay not to be the best, it really is! You don't have to have the highest mark in your class. You don't have to be the most admired. Let go of your ego. Just do it! Take a chance. Step out of your comfort zone, your safe place. It is strangling you; every day you stay there, you die a little on the inside.

Step out into the sunshine and let yourself live and learn, and sometimes fail - if that happens - because failing is also learning and growing.

Do it!

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Good Job!