Beginner’s Mind

© Creative Commons Zero (CC0)

Among “my tribe”, I am known as someone who starts creative endeavors without a clear plan. For me, such journeys are borne on an energetic stream of consciousness. Sure, there is a general trajectory, but more often than not, the path creates itself one step at a time, beneath my feet, as I spring forward. It’s probably not the best course of action when developing a website or a blog, and yet, that is where I found myself- lost in the land of WordPress options and technical terms that far outpaced my Gen X-sponsored set of “onboard tools”.

Nostalgically, I grieve the sense of knowingness and experiential wisdom that once bolstered my confidence and offered insightful guidance. In 2020, in the midst of a pandemic, operating remotely on my career and school, my points of reference are largely irrelevant. I find this fact amusing…and also crippling to my sense of place in the modern world.

I worked diligently to craft this site, to make it visually appealing, to ensure links stayed linked and fonts followed form. I smoked more cigarettes than I intended. I also suspect I caused people I love to rummage through closets and crannies, in search of a ball gag (long ferreted away), to stop my incessant bemoaning.

As if I had a reason to consider myself an expert in the first place, I presumed to assume I could simply “make WordPress what I want it to do”. I could not. So instead, I shamed myself for a lack of understanding. Frustrated, but calmly supportive, my partner nearly begged me to “WTV”- aka watch the videos. I resisted. First, I had to “beat” it…THEN I would watch the tutorials ardently vying for my attention on every page.

Tenacity is a virtue, be sure, but it can also be a barrier. My ego was running amok, until a paradigm shift in perspective came and put me in check. Finally, I realized that in order to progress, I had let go and surrender to the experience. To navigate this new terrain, I needed to forget what I thought I knew (and what I wanted WordPress to do). It was essential that I explore this path with a beginner’s mind- to first discover what the tools are even capable of doing- and then, to adjust my expectations, until I gained more experience.

As with most things, my struggles remind me to be humble, and humble successes remind me to persevere.

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