Monday, February 5, 2024

I realize everyone is winging it to one degree or another, but...

One thing I wasn't told as I was growing up is the fact that no one is going to teach you most of the stuff you do in life.

What I mean is, when you break down your day hour by hour, most activities are things you kind of picked up on your own, or that you're just plain faking your way through.

At least that has been my experience.

I think I had some vague notion as a child that, much as my teachers were already doing for me in school, some unnamed group of people was going to take me aside at some point and explain in detail how to do my job, how to own a house, how to raise kids, etc.

Oh, I got small pointers here and there. And I had great examples to learn from in my parents.

But when it comes to the minutiae of life  personal and professional  by my mid-20s I had reached the horrifying conclusion that I was pretty much on my own when it came to figuring stuff out.

In retrospect, school wasn't teaching us how to do things. It was teaching us how to figure out how to do things.

I wish I would have known that at the time.

Even though I now have a clearer picture of how things work (or don't work), I still get uneasy when I think about all the stuff I do for which I was never really given any instruction.

Job-wise, I went right into the newspaper business without having been taught how to write like a journalist, how to think like a journalist, how to gather facts like a journalist, etc. I just kind of...did it, admittedly better some times than others.

Later on when I moved into corporate communications, I jumped in without a real understanding of what I was supposed to be doing.

Being married? Having kids? Still learning.

Writing? Being a public address announcer? I am doing these things without the benefit of even a single person sitting me down and saying, "OK, here's what you want to do. Step 1..."

And I am in no way unique in this. Many, many of us have this uneasy feeling that we missed some important meeting or class along the way where a lot of vital life information was taught.

But there wasn't any such meeting, nor does anyone offer such a class.

We have collectively been thrown into the deep end of the pool and told to swim.

Remarkably, most of the time we manage to do it. Or at least we manage to keep our heads above water.

Which is really the same thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment