The past week has been one of meeting my limits and deciding that I had no choice but to push through them.
I’ve had to start riding my bike as my sole mode of transportation because, as many of you know, my car was T-boned by a Suburban with a cattle guard last week while commuting to work. Wreck notwithstanding, I’m having to relearn all those tricks to riding a bike; they say you never forget, but that’s just the balance/pedaling part — what you forget is all the mechanics of how much force to exert on the down stroke, how much you can twist your soles to get some grip on the up stroke, how to ride through the pain, how to choose the best gear ratio, which muscle groups to exert, etcetera. That’s all the stuff you forget, and it’s those walls I’m pushing.
Also, my job is one limit to be pushed after another. I know enough to deal with coworkers, but it’s the little things that make my job a job. I have to answer phones; I’ve been wracked with trepidation over that, and it still pangs me with dread when I hear a phone ring in the cube farm. But it’s my job; I have to answer and help the customers get their servers running. The more calls I take, the more confident, by turns, I feel about it. I still hate doing so, but life sucks sometimes. Eventually, I’ll get so accustomed to it that I’ll be able to rant everlong like a seasoned tech-support operator. That’s the hope, anyway. All the mechanical stuff of how to treat customers who secretly need your help even though they sound angry, knowing that it’s OK to put them on hold, that it’s OK to ask that they log into their customer portal and file a proper trouble ticket, and so on. The greatest of my worries is that I will say the wrong thing and look like the poster child for the company of fools — which I’m not, and which we’re not. The rest of my worries is not knowing what I don’t know, of which there are mountains. But my most seasoned of coworkers are still learning things, so there’s that.
But now that I’m 42, I’m finding myself in the thick business of being a grownup and having grownup problems. I have to find another car. I have to deal with insurance bullshit. I have to go to work. I have to make my way. These are limits, and it’s my vigilant battle to overcome the biggest limit of them all: my own fears. Nobody’s going to hand it all to me; I have to be the one to demand it.