“The more I know, the less I understand. All the things I thought I figured out I have to learn again.”
Today was my first day of school.
There is something refreshing about being a student again. The discipline of homework, the vulnerability of participation, the humility of “I don’t know”, the complexity of team work, the anxiety of evaluation. This is not what I remember of the education of my youth.
And I am not just a student of this course. Everything about this moment in my life is brand new…whether it be learning how to practice yoga with a broken sacrum, how to support myself as a single women, how to juggle new projects, how to navigate dating post-divorce. There is nothing familiar or predictable about this moment. Everything is learning. Everything is new.
I realize that I have spent so much of my life trying to be "the best". To know everything. To become an expert at this or that. My motivation as a student was always to achieve a level of wisdom, respect, and accomplishment that gave me a feeling of security and confidence. But there was so much suffering in this drive, because there was always someone better, smarter, more experienced, more knowledgeable in any given area. And in my experience, as soon as you think you know something about anything, you get schooled.
And I am definitely getting schooled…big time. Everything I thought I knew about success, about relationship, about love is unclear. I am a beginner again. A student of life. And nothing is certain.
Now the lessons are coming fast and furiously. It is the education of experience. The education of mistakes. The education of failure. But it is also an education of humility.
What I am realizing is that there is an even greater power in being a student. In embracing the blank canvas that is my new life with a verve and willingness to unlearn and begin again. Nothing is excluded. Everything is an opportunity to learn and to grow. Especially the mistakes, the messes and the mystery. It is all learning.
And so with the spirit of a student, I am learning to be curious about all that I don’t know. I am learning to be courageous in making mistakes. I am learning to be resilient in failure. I am learning to be humble.
And I am learning how to live…again.
"I must learn to love the fool in me--the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries. It alone protects me against that utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant whom I also harbor and who would rob me of my human aliveness, humility, and dignity but for my Fool."