Knowing Stuff

I don’t know if I’ve talked about this before, but one of the hardest things about being back in school is that I don’t know anything.

Sometime in the early 2000s

The girls and I sometime in the early 2000s

Young people take the vast unknown for granted; it’s just a fact of life.  Growing up means we hone our skills, get some life lessons under our belts, start getting good at things.  We know stuff, and at some point we take for granted that we know stuff.

Headset bows for my birthday

Headset bows for my birthday

I was at that point.  Without even realizing it I was in the comfortable position of knowing stuff.  I knew my job.  I knew my people.  I had my routine.  If something broke I knew how to fix it.  There are always exceptions, but I knew that!  As a student, I know nothing.  I get it: the very nature of being a student is learning stuff I don’t know.  But I’m older now and it’s unsettling.

On my way to Professional Development, learning new ways to use the stuff I know.

On my way to Professional Development, learning new ways to use the stuff I know.

I don’t know stuff anymore.  I don’t like it.

Little cartoon me.

Little cartoon me.

The kids and I were near my old job yesterday, so we stopped in for a visit.  I always miss the people, but I never miss dispatching.  Yesterday, for the first time in over two years, I missed my job.  I recognized the voices on the radio.  I knew what they were talking about.  I understood what was going on.  I understood the dynamics of the changes that had taken place.

The Weekenders on a Sunday afternoon.

The Weekenders on a Sunday afternoon.

I knew stuff again.  I like knowing stuff.

Like how to play pranks on my coworkers...

Like how to play pranks on my coworkers.

I miss knowing stuff.


And how to graciously accept revenge.

Like how to accept revenge with grace.



12 thoughts on “Knowing Stuff

  1. Imagine my first days at the Raptor Center. There was nothing in my past that prepared me for that. What the heck do I know about birds, or ‘possums, or rats?

    • But then I went back to that stupid place and was reminded of how much I KNEW, Daddy! How good I was at my job and how much people liked and respected me. It didn’t help that one of the supervisors pulled me aside and asked if I’d inquired about getting my job back, because they want to revamp the training program and I’d be perfect. And before you agree, not ten minutes before that the director told me she and the chief fought for my job as soon as he was promoted. 😦 It was a bittersweet day.

      • I understand. It’s still something of an open wound for you. I wish you could get back there too. After all, you did write the original training book.

  2. I think we are constantly thrust into new situations, and that little curled up like a sowbug phrase (I don’t know enough) starts to unfold; maybe part of the human condition; something good is around the corner

    • That sowbug needs to shut its trap. *L* Thank you, Esther. I know it’s just a shift in paradigm that moves at the speed of molasses. I must be patient.

  3. I have always felt that it’s very hard to feel secure and to let go of an old comfortable job/place/group/space until I have fully adopted the new one. You’re on your way to the “new” one with finishing your education and finding a new vocation. None of us know anything, Janine. We just fake it! 🙂

  4. Boy, you hit it on the head, Sweetie…You get to a Certain Age, and all the secure knowledge you built up over time is…useless…
    It’s terrifying. It hurts somewhere that you can’t quite reach. You think, “I won’t ever be that kind of comfortable again…”
    But you will. You’re a Learner, and a Do-er.
    *big hugs*

  5. The old adage, change is hard, couldn’t be more true. You’re just in the learning curve, and the road straightens out again. I say hang onto the steering wheel and enjoy the ride of your life! Don’t look in the rear view mirror, keep focused on the road ahead. Enjoy the sights along the way, it makes getting to the destination more enjoyable. I know you’ll reach your goal.

  6. And yet, you have had experience that younger students have not yet acquired. My cousin Alice returned to school when she was in her 60s, and she expressed much of the same that you have, but she also realized along the way that in many ways her years of experience trumped that of her much younger fellow students.

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