Humility is this week’s word.
I took the advice of sage Claire Diaz-Ortiz to choose a word for the year, and what I chose was CREATE. And while I have managed to create some cool shit this week, I have also been humbled. I have failed.
Now, I could blame my cold (I’ve been coughing up a lung since monday); I could blame my lack of left brain (it went AWOL sometime during 6th grade); I could argue that the unit I’m studying isn’t taught very well (my classmates agree, but didn’t fail said exam) but, let’s be honest. I’m not good at everything, nor do I need to be.
Actually, dammit, yes I do.
I hate failing.
My stomach sunk a little when I saw the first of thirty questions of impenetrable HTML code in front of me.
It sunk a little more when my score popped up on the screen… 8/30.
It’s only 10 percent I breathed. Well … sniffled.
The test was for a unit I am studying toward my multimedia degree and involves a whole lot of thinking that makes my head hurt.
When it works and the code magically manifests into something legible and pretty on the page, my heart does a little dance.
When it declares a “file not found” or something resembling a 1990s game of tetris appears as my site structure, I sigh and recognise that this is something that won’t come easily.
Maths and science in highschool didn’t come easily either, and by the time uni came around, I had managed to escape their numerical logical clutches and focussed on humanities and the arts.
This little wandering minstrel was not going to be a famous missionary doctor, but, yet, as time went on, I realised I didn’t need to be.
But not only did I fail something that I am not naturally disposed to, I failed something I am good at.
I’ve had to take a long, hard look at my time and where I use it.
I sat down this week with a spiritual director and confessed that I hadn’t prayed on any of the days since my retreat last weekend, or even very much during that blessed time.
I was so anxious and preoccupied with work, uni and life, and a fat lot of good that did me.
But then I realised, it’s okay. It’s okay to be sick (it’s even okay to not work when you’re sick, who’da thunk it?); it’s okay to not win at everything; and it’s okay to give yourself a break once in a while.
And just when I needed to hear it most, another of my ‘lecturers’ had a more affirming message:
It’s OK (Republished from Hold it all)
by Mark Chmiel
It’s OK to forget to do gratitudes when you most need them
It’s OK to be grumpy for between seven and nine minutes
It’s OK to feel like everyone is smarter than you (but for no more than 405 seconds)
It’s OK to sleep in 30 minutes later than your usual rising time
It’s OK not to be “the best” (whatever that means)
It’s OK to feel totally and miserably average for half of a morning
It’s OK to wear a scowl for 15 seconds (but no longer, as a child might see you)
It’s OK to kvetch like there’s no tomorrow (if it’s me you’re kvetching to)
It’s OK to see the glass as 1/100th empty
It’s OK to believe you’re a fake, a phony, and a fraud (for two full minutes, max)
It’s OK to convince yourself that you’ve made the stupidest decisions and everyone in the Western hemisphere is tweeting about it (for as long as your longest remembered yawn)
It’s OK to be reminded how heartful, profound, witty, and drop-dead brilliant you are by an elder you can’t so easily dismiss as you can a peer
It’s OK if you see tsuris everywhere you look (at least from 4 to 5 p.m. [I know I do])
It’s OK to believe you’re the most forgettable nobody in the metropolitan area
It’s OK to cry before the mirror in an flash-flood of self-pity
It’s OK to want to throw in the towel (for as long as it takes to drink one shot of espresso)
It’s OK to be irritated by people who are excessively parenthetical (you know the type)
It’s OK to feel so out of sorts you contemplate asking the curmudgeonly bus-driver for a hug
It’s OK to assume nobody could possibly believe how fill-in-the-blank you are
It’s OK to be a total amnesiac that I wrote a magnificent visionary poem about you that included how Charles Bukowski was blown away by all I told him about you
It’s even OK if you can’t learn to be OK with not being OK
It’s OK really
It’s so OK
To be a human becoming
Oh, and one more thing–
It’s OK to be loved
And you are