Its one of those – be careful what you wish for – moments. Where you look back and wonder why your thoughts something would be easier than what it actually is. All signs pointed to me being wrong, but how could I not be blinded by the excitement of learning something new.
I have an anecdote that I end up repeating when explaining what I do and why I sometimes miss the mark in conversations. It comes from an observation made when I spend too long in my in the weeds of my profession. My world appears to shift, and the things that would be generally seen as abnormal or esoteric become humdrum. It’s like I live existing in a bubble, causing me to care about only was seems to be relevant to that bubble and nothing else.
I didn’t say it was a good thing, it’s merely what happens.
But when talking to other people, outside of work and my field, I can finally see how far I’ve strayed. It’s a career that requires me to understand both inside and outside of the bubble but in word and in practice are different.
So why bother telling you this, what was it that I wasn’t prepared for? Well, my new program has been dishing heapings of humility. Showing me how much I don’t know about other fields and how tunneled I’ve gotten within own. It’s a good thing, having wanted to experience different things and have a chance at exploring new areas. It’s hard, though, stepping outside of what I know and being a beginner again. It’ was something I was envious of others for, those who had learned one thing and did another. It’s a different perspective on life and work.
I don’t know exactly how this new knowledge will help me, but I find solitude in Steve Job’s old story about learning calligraphy. Noting that as long as we are learning and making the most of the lessons, we can never know when you can bring something unexpected and new to the equation. It doesn’t make it not hurt less but it at least it keeps me on the path, one where I can’t see around the end to the next corner but ultimately knows it will end with achieving my dreams.