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Unstuck 2.5: In Deep

It probably doesn’t matter how any of us descend. Blame the long float down on gravity. Each of us knows the depths, that sinking feeling that we’ve passed the last exit and the trend has turned irreversible. Bye bye.

For me, lately, it’s come from not being able to figure out the too-cleverly designed user interface. Someone sends me a message via LinkedIn (What IS that for, anyway?) or some other overly-secure social networking site, and I just cannot get in to respond. I must have an account, or I would not have received the message. But I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to get past the largely unnecessary security. My password doesn’t grok or my username isn’t registered. I slink to my corner and sulk.

Breaking out of the in-deep stuckness challenges the best of us. Once a decent amount of time passes, we’ve lost the initiative and can only be tardy. Our propriety’s busted.

It’ll take an inhuman act to break through the humiliation now. I might have to feature what an absolute idiot I must be to not be able to figure out the login protocol of the system everyone else seems to be able to navigate without trouble. Heck, the phone baffles me plenty and enough. I can’t always figure how to return a call, when the number’s garbled or the message’s indecipherable. I’ve let many opportunities pass because I could not figure out how to call ‘em back.

My mind takes over then, nattering about how stupid I must appear, though the LinkedIn designer certainly qualifies as a country mile more stupid than I’ll ever aspire to be. I take it on myself. I pile it on myself.

It’ll take one unthinkably humiliating act to bust through this barricade. One head-lowering decision. One admission I dare not make but can certainly make any time.

My experience doesn’t support my reticence. I have stumbled and found reassuring hands on the other side, more times than not. I needn’t appear brilliant to be brilliant, and I need not measure my capacity by my ability to figure out any curiously designed “connector.”

My most enduring relationships started with a stumble, yet I still shrink back from accepting my own stumbles. I needn’t be competent to be accepted. Most all of us are incompetent when first trying to connect.

I’m learning to accept these stumbling beginnings, lest I get in way too deep. Lest my potential colleagues get in way too deep, too. This stuckness always resolves the same way. I pick myself up, skinned knee and all, and ring the damned doorbell again. Whether or not anyone answers, I redeem myself from the depths by just ringing the bell.

©2012 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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