Lately, I've been remembering this teacher I had in junior high. His name is Mr. Haugen. He was probably the first "hard" teacher I ever had in school. He was considered difficult because he didn't tolerate messing around. A good quality for a junior high teacher. He would always say things like "Are you asking me or telling me?" And if you ever said Sorry which I did a lot. He would yell, "Your not sore-re!" Which just about made me cry every time. Because I really was sorry! Sorry I made him mad. Sorry, I said sorry so he yelled at me. But that was just what he did. All the kids loved Mr. Haugen. I never really did. But, whatever, I had him for one class. I just did my work and tried not to talk.
Another thing he would say is "When you assume you make an ass out of you and me." Of course, he would yell that too. Clearly he just liked to freak out kids. But he had something with this assuming thing and over the past month I have discovered it's one of my greater weaknesses. I find I assume things and believe them. I forget to ask questions to clarify on both sides because I assume if you don't ask questions then you don't have any. I forget to follow up to make sure things were completed because I assume they would get done. I forget to check the invoice to confirm I was suppose to receive a 20 lb. bag of flour before getting stuck with a misdelivery for the rest of my existence because I assume if we get 20 pounds of flour we ordered it. I assume the child telling me his schedule knows his schedule. And every. single. time I get to be the ass again.
In the past 30 days, I have been painfully reminded 'assuming makes an ass out of you and me (most of which was just me)'. I wish I could say it only took me once to learn but I'm confident January was filled with some pretty arsey days! So much I sit here in February wondering if I will ever learn my lesson. I know there will be growing pains. I'm trying not to beat myself up too badly but I do fill vulnerable. I stand with a group of women who have a years of experience in this program. I convinced myself they have never made any mistakes. I start questioning my worthiness of this job. Was I ready? Did they make a mistake? What do I really have to contribute?
It's the most terrible place to go but I go there. Right now I feel like the stuff I'm fumbling with is amateur stuff. Stuff any normal working professional made in their early twenties. But I didn't make those mistakes then because I was at home raising babies. Which makes me feel like even more of a misfit. I'm trying ladies, for all of the women who did this professional life backwards. The ones who married young, had babies, and then decided 'Hey I want an education. I want a career'. It's my driving force. Maybe I'm not carrying a flag forward for the whole group but I'm trying to pull myself up and suck up the fact that I'm not going to be perfect. I'm going to have to get really uncomfortable and humbled so I can gain the experience that I feel I'm ten years behind. When I learn the hard lessons (over and over again), finally fix the weakness which continually chap my backside, and start to feel like I've got this, I'm going to have a greater empathy for those just starting the journey. I'm going to be the back patter who says You can do it... This is normal... You will be so much better for it.
I've just spent way too much time typing this and I'm not even sure where the hell I ended up. I am a babbling mess up way too late. Clearly, I don't really know who to talk to about these things. I'm just curious if there is anyone out there who has ever felt this way? I don't care how old you are. Professionally, is this normal to go through these growing pains? Is it normal to question my adequacy? Or am I just a super sensitive borderline crazy person who is way too invested in her job? Does the insecurity go away eventually? Do you eventually just become so comfortable in your abilities that you stop worrying about your weaknesses and focus on your strengths?
Those are my questions blogosphere. Any wise people have answers to share?