Today marks the end of my third week here at Gotham. The time has been moving quickly—as time tends to do nowadays—and only now am I starting to feel like I’m fitting in okay. I don’t mean socially. The people here are awesome, and sometimes I even get them to laugh, but before this gig, I was never answering phones with a tagline and talking to strangers. I’ve never been good with speaking on the phone. I’m not even that good at speaking to people face-to-face. I stutter and ummm like I’m still learning how to speak English. Today is my 7th day and I’m just beginning to feel comfortable. Maybe it’s my new sweater. Maybe it’s because it’s Friday. Probably not either. But whatever. I feel good. I think it’s important to take note of the times when you feel good because on the crappy days, it can be easy to forget what it’s like.
I know how things work over here at Gotham now.
Well, the things I need to know.
Actually, just some of what I need to know, for now.
I can add someone to a class or switch them or drop them. I know all the buttons, generally. It’s learning an instrument except quieter. It’s testing out the bike without the training wheels except with fewer scrapes and bruises.
It’s like anything else.
It kind of amazes me how resilient babies are when it comes to learning how to walk. They keep trying and failing. Trying and failing. Trying, crying, and failing. There is no concept of quitting. When do we learn that? I’ve given up on a lot of things in my life out of fear of failure, fear of inadequacy, fear of humiliation, and even just boredom. I wish I had the resilience and the will to succeed like an infant.
(That was a weird thing to say.)
I don’t consider myself a perfectionist (I tried for awhile but it was too exhausting) but in my time here at Gotham, when I’ve misspoke on the phone or given the wrong price information or came across too curt to a prospective student, I’ve beaten myself up for it the whole day. I know that no one is perfect and the best way to learn is to make mistakes and blah blah blah but I can only seem to remind myself of that in retrospect. So the next time I embarrass myself here, I’ll try to convince myself that I’m just a 22-year old baby—still trying and failing (without the crying)—and eventually, I’ll get the walking down. No quitting: infant style.