A man may fulfill the object of his existence by asking a question he cannot answer, and attempting a task he cannot achieve. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
Surprisingly, the “ask the questions I want answers to” goal is probably the most difficult and scary thing on my list. It doesn’t seem like it should be hard, but it is. I think it’s the fear of revealing too much about yourself to others. But we need to open our hearts and let others in, even when it makes us feel uncomfortable. I think it’s also because the answer might require you “to do the thing you think you cannot do.” (Go to The List: 2010 on my blogroll for more on following this advice from Eleanor Roosevelt.)
Today in tai chi class, I asked if it might be easier if our instructor were to change the way the class was facing so that we might be able to see him during the later parts of the form where everyone is not as familiar. (There were new people there, and I figured that if I wanted to learn some parts better, they probably did, too, and I could see that they were struggling.) Of course, I am directionally challenged, so my idea didn’t work out as well as I hoped it might, and so we tried another direction. By the time the instructor asked me if that was working better, I felt like I had completely disrupted the whole class, and the others were making fun of me a little bit. I hope in a very friendly way. It was readily apparent why I was named brightest blusher in my high school class. I felt like an idiot.
Now, as I write this, I realize it doesn’t sound like a big deal. But it was for me. I am friendly and pleasant in most settings, and I think most people who casually know me might be surprised how hard it is for me to speak up to ask for help. Am I glad I asked? While all of the disruption was going on, I would have to say, not so much. Afterward, Kermit gave me a hug, and said he thought that what we did was very helpful. He is a nice man.
Well, old Oliver Wendell Holmes also said this: “When in doubt, do it.”
Sigh. Okay….here I go!