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C11P43 – Learn

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Pakku seems to have recovered a bit and is making a good show of trying to regain control of the situation, I think. Whether Una will agree to (or abide by) his terms is another question, of course. Besides, like the genie we talked about last week, there are always loop holes for the enterprising mind to find.

I was catching up on my podcasts today as I was inking. There was a quote that I really loved from Jim Demonakos, founder of Emerald City Comicon (ECCC) on the latest episode of Surviving Creativity. He said:

“I want new and interesting problems. I don’t want the same problems year after year.”

These words gave me an entirely different perspective on a lot of the fears I’ve had lately of trying new things.

As I mentioned in my 2015 Goals post, I want to offer enrichment courses at many different schools around the city. I’ve been reaching out to several of them, and although I have a class set up at one new school and am setting up a second, it’s been a lot harder getting responses than I was hoping. Since I’m doing a lot of things I’ve never done before, everything also takes a lot of extra energy, and even when I do my best to do everything right, I make mistakes.

Naturally, my inner perfectionist declares me a failure for even the slightest slip-up. This creates a lot of anxiety as my brain extrapolates from small failures (you forgot to bring two forms of ID) to a catastrophic failure (this school will think you’re careless, therefore they will not allow you to teach a class, therefore they will tell EVERYONE THEY KNOW to avoid you, therefore you’ll be blacklisted in every school IN THE STATE. Until finally, you’ll be UNEMPLOYED in GREENLAND and eaten by Rodents of Unusual Size. If only you’d remembered your Social Security Card when you got the paperwork, Robin, you might have been able to avoid this unfortunate event. Too bad real life comes with no take-backsies, no second-chances, and no opportunities to bring the papers and two forms of ID in TOMORROW.).

Now, instead of this cycle, what if I embraced and celebrated these little mistakes as new and interesting problems? Then hiccups would become opportunities to learn something new, to do something differently, to be more prepared next time. It would acknowledge that the only reason I was facing these theretofore unknown challenges was because last year I did a lot of exciting things that enabled me to reach for additional opportunities this year. It focuses on growth in the past, present, and future.

I want to incorporate this perspective into everything I do. I think it’s that powerful. Into how I approach art, storytelling, editing, teaching, and even my personal struggles with depression. Every time I face a new problem, I want to learn to celebrate it, instead of stress and despair. After all, isn’t that really the point of living? To learn and grow each day, solving new problems and facing interesting challenges?

What new problems are you facing this year, because you learned and grew last year? What exiting challenges are you tackling, because you’re trying new things?

4 Comments

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Okay I love the parallel between Warren and Pakku here. Warren’s caving to the bad guys. Pakku’s making the bad guys do things his way. It’s awesome.

Also, I am in the process of moving and finding another job AGAIN. I’ve been trying to approach it with this attitude this time: “we’ll make it work.” There’s no point talking about the future and what-if’s. What will happen will happen, and I’ve got the support I need to deal with whatever life throws at me. In the meantime I am trying to remain cautiously optimistic.

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