I never had one of those made-for-TV moments when one of my parents took the training wheels off of my bike, showed me how to ride without them, and pushed me off into the sunset. Not one that I remember, anyway. What I do remember is receiving a bike as a gift for my twelfth birthday and hopping on, not knowing if I’d take off or fall flat on my face. I was nervous. But I tried it anyway and found riding a bike to be as easy as… well, you get it.
My first Apple computer was a MacBook Pro that I requested as a high school graduation present. The day it came in the mail, my parents let me stay home from school to play with it. Everything was new, glossy, and exciting. I had no idea how to use it.
That is, until the very next weekend when I was tasked with filming and editing a video in a matter of hours for a church event. I hadn’t even opened iMovie before then, but I became very familiar with it very quickly. And I’ve been editing videos on my Apple devices with at least some degree of capability ever since.
I’ve learned a million new things since I started working here at the church, some of them technical (like how to maintain a building-wide computer network) and some not so much (like how to survive as an introvert in a position where everyone wants to shake your hand). Looking back, I realize that every single one of those lessons had one thing in common: pressure.
Whenever I face a situation that I’m not familiar with, it always comes with a certain amount of pressure. Usually, it comes in some form of stress. I’m in a hurry to get something done before a deadline, or I’m afraid that my skills are inadequate for the task, or I’m just plain confused because I have no idea what I’m doing. This is the pressure that comes just before I learn something new.
It’s taken me a long time to recognize this pattern, but I’m learning not only to accept it, but to actively expect it. When I start feeling the pressure come on, I try to remind myself that the relief of a breakthrough is not far off if I’ll simply press on. And with that relief comes new knowledge, fresh skills, and hard-fought wisdom.
Keeping this in mind doesn’t take the pressure off, but it does make it more bearable, because I know that it will be worth it in the end. The stress is there for a purpose: to push me to the next level, which is one step closer to where I want to be.
And I believe that your pressure has a purpose, too. So if you’re feeling the heat right now—whether it be in your job, family life, or elsewhere—I encourage you to see it not as a burden, but as an opportunity to grow. Stop and ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” and it might just help you get through to the other side.
To be completely honest, this isn’t the blog post I was planning to write this week. Katherine and I went to see Hamiltonon Saturday, and I was hoping to share about that experience with you. But I’ve been dealing with a couple of “learning experiences” of my own at work, so that’ll just have to wait.
I think I needed to write this reminder today more for myself than anyone else, but I hope this short article has been helpful to you, too. If it has, I’d love to hear about it. You’re always welcome to reach out in the comments or on social media.
I’d also like to give a shoutout to the newest financial supporter of the blog, Dale! He’s been very encouraging of my writing over the years, and I’m so happy to have him onboard in this new way. If you enjoy the work I’m doing here and want to help support it, you can sign up today with a monthly pledge. Any amount goes a long way.
That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading, friends. I hope to see you again soon!