My keys had been missing for over a week and I just wasn’t concerned about it at all. Losing my keys has been with me since I was a kid and would feed into the narrative that I’m irresponsible. So I became responsible. Then, losing my keys was a testament to the truth that I must be a flake. Turns out I’m not a flake either. I just happen to suck at keeping track of my keys.
This used to cause me excruciating pain. I’d misplace my keys most days. The missing keys weren’t the painful part. It was the story about what this meant about who I am that chipped away at my self-esteem. I’d be racing around looking in various spots, because I just can’t seem to put them in the same place, all the while chastising myself in my head.
Then one day, I just lightened up on myself. I took stock. I’m okay. I’m good at things. I am satisfied with the degree to which I am good at things. I like myself. I respect myself. I will never be perfect and don’t need to shoot for that. Oh the floodgates of compassion! Suddenly, whenever I’d lose my keys, it’d feel as though I was looking on at a little girl, stumbling about. She’s sweet, funny, and even endearing.
So when I read Danielle LaPorte’s burning question: What do you suck at? I looked down at the spare bike lock key I’d been using for several days; oh this is going to be fun…something I DON’T suck at? Identifying what I suck at….
Keeping track of my keys. Check.
Implementing systems. Once they’re in place, I can follow- I’m golden. But I will re-invent the wheel over and over and over again to avoid creating or implementing a system. In fact, most systems that I follow, someone held my hand to implement.
Technology. I’ve got a block. A huge one. I let my iPhone get wiped several times because it wasn’t backed up. Because I just wouldn’t download iTunes. The template I use for my invoicing is laughable. I will not learn something new with technology unless I have to. I was the last of my friends to get on Facebook. I still resist the shit out of twitter and will always choose getting outside over spending one more second in front of a screen…even if it means I will spend several more hours in front of a screen trying to figure something out that I’ve been putting off.
Music. All the music I own and listen to has been chosen and given to me by others. Just about everyone in my family are musicians. They got my share of the genetics. Can’t sing. Can’t play an instrument.
I have NO sense of direction. It took me two years to stop getting lost on the island where my family cabin is. Turns out there’s only one main road. I thought there were three or four. We lived in a pretty big house when I was a teen. I’d get lost in it at night time. When I look at maps of the places I think I know well, I’m astounded by how different they are than the picture in my head. I’m still uncertain how to get to my best friend’s house.
Saying no to people or to exciting opportunities. There are lots of both. I sleep less than I should. Every day I confront the schedule that my more energetic and enthusiastic self booked for me.
Quieting my mind. I mostly think my way through meditation. My mind is always on the next thing I’m going to get done, frolicking through the fields of my future.
Non-Interactive Work. I like people. I prefer to be engaging with others. Except if I’m writing. It’s not about being alone, I like being alone. But I don’t like working on things that don’t include others. I get so bored and anxious that I can’t keep focused and flit from task to task. I really suck at studying and researching.
Not being productive. I’ve been working and working and working at this one. Just chilling sends my mind racing like a storm of wild horses. I feel trapped and afraid and like the world will crumble around me. I practice not being productive like some people practice meditation. With awareness and discipline. And I dodge out of it to do productive things over and over.
Challenging or confronting others. I can certainly navigate a challenging confrontation like a champ. But I’ll rarely initiate one of those. I used to give way too much space for the poor behaviour of others. This often comes as a shock to people because I seem so fierce. But I’m sensitive, afraid of hurting people and don’t want to impose my perspective. It’s called having a spine. I have to dig deep to locate mine and bring it forth.