On Beginning

Being a beginner is not a comfortable place for me.

Can you relate?

As a beginner at something new, I don’t know how much there is I don’t know. I am going forth into the unknown. What is ahead? I can’t see! Is this safe? How much is left before I know all the things I don’t know?

In general, I hate it.

I would much rather be a professional. I’d rather be the one at the head of the line, telling everyone else how to get to where they want to go. Showing the way. Confidently leading the pack with my well-seasoned, hard-earned knowledge.

Alas, friend. It turns out, no one gets to cut the line.

We all have to begin. And only after doing the hard work of flailing around in the darkness, being BAD at something, can we get GOOD at it.

I feel like this comes more naturally to children. They know they are small. They KNOW they don’t know the answers. And EVERYTHING is something new. They accept that. They embrace the process of learning with open arms and even delight!

But as an adult, I think I have forgotten how to be a beginner. How to start from scratch knowing nothing,  but find joy in the adventure of learning.

If I can relearn how to learn, if I can be willing to be a beginner, with all it’s messy, less than perfect, stuttering first steps – then there would be no limit to the things I could accomplish.

It’s all starts with beginning. For some of us, that’s the hardest part.

For years, I have loved this poetic Invocation for Beginners – the work of Ze Frank. He speaks as one who knows how hard it is to start – that it can be the biggest hurdle. I’ve watched this video over and over and committed the last lines to memory.

If you, like me, dream of reaching far-off goals. Of creating something. Of bringing life to a new idea, this is for you.

 

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