Not to Know is Bad; Not to Wish to Know is Worse

In preparing for my UIYB interview with Cole Rodgers, I read his book, School of Man. In this self-help book, Cole talks about man’s human frailties, and I am reminded of my own. He speaks of man’s struggles with communication and of their male falsehoods and self-imposed masks. Though it may be easier for women to admit their weaknesses, I am not sure that makes dealing with them any easier. To be human is to suffer on some level. Luckily, with age comes the recognizable warning signs and learned wisdom to deal with the devil speak.

I Am Reminded Again

Tuesday morning, my 5:30 alarm goes off for my 6 AM yoga class. I don’t want to go. The more my body ages and aches, the less I want to move but, adversely, the more I need to. So I drag myself to the gym and, an hour later, I am so glad I did. Gratitude and exercise start this day.

Upon leaving, I overhear the instructor, who I think of as the salt-of-the-earth, talk about her poor night’s sleep. In the 16 years I have been attending her class she has never called in sick. And to add another jewel to her crown, she always brings her schoolteacher clothes which she changes into in the dressing room, and drives directly to her 4th grade classroom with ne’er a complaint or bad day known.

So, on this morning, upon seeing her red eyes, I ask if she was tired. That is when she told me, earlier in the week, she had a workshop for kids and, ever since, has been monotonously replaying the experience in her head while trying to sleep. She regretfully felt that she could have done better.

Wait! What?! Please! I know her. I am sure it was great.

Not to steal her story, but rather to soothe her, I tell her how, after many of my radio show interviews, I too would second guess myself. I told her that in the first year of learning to be on the radio I oft would be so paralyzed by negative thoughts that I would stay in bed the whole weekend. And that once the show was posted on Monday, more often than not, I found it to be surprisingly good. There had been nothing to fret about.

Then, I added to this story of support by mentioning all the movie stars I’d seen lament about after-performance anxiety, including the current new Batman, Robert Pattinson. Just last week, on Jimmy Kimmel’s show, Pattinson confessed he’d fretted about seeing the finished film for the first time.  

Not to Know is Bad; Not to Wish to Know is Worse – African Proverb

Whether you’re a movie star or a schoolteacher, I admire all people that I see making themselves vulnerable. I recognize the risk taken and understand that leaning into personal growth, the knowing, can be hard on any level.

Again, I remember Cole Rodger’s book, School of Man. To be happy is to be fulfilled, to live is to take risks, be vulnerable, and to be human is to fight the devil speak in one’s head. Loving yourself is tough, but doable.

Peace, my friends.