Learning to Walk

Isn’t it funny how a lot of things that happen later in our lives feel like they are directly tied to something we learned or experienced early in life, and it is just taking us years and years to actually learn it?

After a few unsteady days early in the Paris leg of my trip, I was feeling off-kilter.  Unsure, a little nervous, lonely.  I started to think maybe I shouldn’t have booked so long in Paris (7 nights, after only 5 in Copenhagen where I fell in love with the city).  I even kind of wanted to go home.

And then on the third day, there was a little shift.  I started recognizing some spots near my Airbnb, noticing familiar streets and remembering directions.  I started to pick up a few new words, and a few more people started being willing to speak English with me.  And it didn’t feel quite so scary and lonely as it did initially.

It made me realize that the very first part (first days, weeks months, etc.) of something new can be really hard in any number of ways.  And that’s when we most want to quit, to say – this is too much!  I don’t like this!  And it’s juuuuust past that point when it starts to get good.  When we feel that enormous burst of relief and excitement, when we start to get past the awkwardness.  Like that first day of feeling better after you’ve been sick.

Like learning to walk.  When you see a kid learning to walk, there are a lot of wobbles and falling on their butt.  And that is practically required.  That is just simply what it takes to get moving.  If they decided they were tired of falling on their butt and never got up again, they would never walk.

What if we could hold the knowledge – and faith – that those early [hours, days, weeks, months…] are necessary and help us build the foundation that becomes the starting point for something amazing?  Perhaps that would ease the strain just a little, make it just a little more bearable as we wait for that shift moment…