Beginner

I think we’ve all experienced it; being a beginner can be hard. It’s not just that you constantly have to adjust and receive criticism for what you do; you just want to do better and it doesn’t always come out that way. Everything takes longer than you know it should and you just feel a little clumsy and silly a lot. 

It can be bruising to the ego to be a beginner, but I think those with the best sense of self-worth are those who are the best beginners and the lifelong learners. I’ve seen and met people who are no longer willing to be beginners, to step out their comfort zone and admit that they don’t know, or they don’t understand. I never want to be like those people.

I began this post to tell you about something that happened earlier this morning, when Sarah was helping me edit a testimonial into an approximately one minute piece for the mini fund drive that’s coming up. I was having a fair amount of trouble with it yesterday so I asked Sarah for help. She helped me get a sense of what I needed and left me to it again. This morning when I came to her for help again it wasn’t because I was frustrated, it was because I felt as though I had reached the next step; I just didn’t know what that was.

What I had was a few clips of good tape, that said the things I wanted this piece to say. They were in an order, of a kind, but everything still felt quite choppy and jerky. I don’t know why I’m surprised; Sarah has many years experience in doing this. Anyway, after a few other suggestions she isolated a clip of tape and had the idea to move it to the front. I suppose it’s impossible to describe in words, but the result was very cool. Just with that little change the whole piece became more focused and that one minute had an arching narrative. With that change I was able to take out two other clips, which somehow were no longer relavent, and cut the piece down further. The result was not a perfect piece, but a much trimmer and more focused one.

I’m inspired by this. Just when I don’t think I can be any more of a beginner, when my ego can’t handle it and I don’t think I am progressing at all, someone comes along to share and teach with their experience. It was such a little thing, but I was buoyed nonetheless. 

I remember when I realized that knowledge can only be attained through experience. I was all ready to sweep the world with my knowledge until I realized that someone (just Einstein, no big deal) had already said that. Experience does not preclude the possibilities of being a beginner, to be comfortable learning, to admit you are wrong, you don’t know or you need help. 

I’m off to lunch now, where my experience is more than sufficient in nourishing me. Enjoy the beautiful weather!

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