Oh Technology…

Technology is great…when it works.

I know very little about technology so I often struggle just to make things work. I have been fighting with my little tablet trying to get it to talk to the internet for days now. My phone wanted to argue with the internet for the first few weeks and now my tablet won’t even connect at all.

I usually have a good temper and a lot of patience… except when things are trouble for no good reason. It should work but won’t. I got so angry I had to walk away a couple times each day for the past 3 days. I was ready to MAKE it connect by smashing the 2 pieces of equipment into each other! Not great logic so time to step away.

It doesn’t have to be so difficult! But it is. I didn’t change anything or do anything different so why the trouble? Often I ask for help and it is a silly little thing that I could have figured out if I had just taken a moment so I feel silly. Other times I struggle and struggle and get nowhere except angry enough to throw a childish temper tantrum. It still isn’t working so I am going to have to call for help.

When I bought the tablet I didn’t realize how dependent on the internet they are so it sat for many months useless. I am finally using it for a week and now it seems rendered useless once again. Feels like the story of my life! ugh.

It is strange how so many things don’t work like I think they should. Something that I think should be so simple creates such frustrations.
Yet some things I feel will be monumental and so difficult because I know nothing about them end up working out so well. I had no clue where to start with all of the social media and podcast platforms, yet they ended up being so easy and are working really well for me. Maybe because they were made user friendly and easy so lots of people would use them. If I had kept up with technology as it grew, maybe I would have found the hardware, systems, and these other technological devices easy to work with.

Anything new can be difficult, but you never know if it will work for you until you try. You have to be willing to give yourself and others the space, patience and understanding to realize new things can be scary, difficult, and therefore very frustrating.

Sometimes we have been doing the familiar for so long we forget how it is to learn and struggle with something new. We get into patterns and routines that aren’t working for us because we are avoiding the uncomfortable feelings of doing something new or different. Staying the same can be just as uncomfortable and stressful, but we fear the unknown will be more difficult. Or we fear we will try and fail. Then everyone will see our struggles, know we don’t know it all and we will
have to get off our high horse and admit our mistakes.

While I embrace some fun new things, I dread many others. Procrastination can be good if I need to figure out something more before I go in a new direction. Procrastination is often bad for me and just makes things so much worse by the time I finally get to dealing with the
issue. Often I build it up so big in my mind full of anxiety and distress that I get in my own way. It is a huge relief when I finally do make progress and address something I have been putting off for way too long.

I never know what is on the other side of fear and anxiety until I finally get up the nerve to tackle that big situation that is making me afraid. The bear growling at us is useful fear and totally logical. The fear of doing something imperfectly making me frozen and unable to do anything doesn’t serve me well. Usually it makes the deadline loom big and scary and I finally do a crummy job of it last minute or I avoid too long and miss the deadline… creating even more misery and anxiety plus I only have myself to blame.

Blame, guilt and shame because I didn’t even have the guts to ask for help.

At this point I either a) decide I will do better next time and learn from this mistake. or b) I choose to wallow. Living with my unhealthy thoughts continuing to make even more mistakes like this and let it become a self-fulfilling negative loop.

It is time I face the fears, do the hard work, and see what is waiting on the other side of anxiety. Imperfection is better than not making any progress. The anxiety and fear of what could go wrong has turned into being responsible for contributing to what is going wrong in my life. It is time to face what I can to make some positive changes. I can’t control what other people do nor what situations arise. I can control how I behave and react. It takes practice but each situation gives me another chance to try. If I use the past to learn, don’t give up in the present moment, and be humble enough to ask for help, I have a better chance of living the future life I keep yearning for.

Don’t give up. Feel how you feel, go ahead and cry or have those moments of falling apart that humble us. When you can take a breath again, realize you aren’t alone in this. There are people who understand. There are people who want to help. There are people struggling every day at every age and life situation. The struggle is real because you are learning and growing. If everything were easy, or always stayed the same, you would get bored and not appreciate the goodness you have. You won’t win every time, but each time can teach you and strengthen you.
If you let the fear and anxiety win and never try, you will never know what is on the other side. Beautiful things and wonderful moments can be your reward. You get to choose your path through the darkness every night and see the golden sunlight of dawn each new day.

Imperfect is beautiful too. Unique is strong. Struggling provides strength.
You have made it through everything so far. Give yourself the gift to try again and don’t be afraid of success. You do deserve a good life and happy moments. No matter what you have failed at or what you may have done wrong, you are here in this moment and you deserve the chance just as much as anyone else. You are here for a reason and I am so glad you are.
Without you I wouldn’t get to tell my story and give you the opportunity to tell yours. Without you I wouldn’t know there are others like me in this world who want to learn, need support and want to share their ups and downs. Without someone who struggled and didn’t give up like you, I wouldn’t have anyone to come to for advice and see if I am on the right track.

Tracey, GYST2020


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