Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Humility, Take Two

It happened again. I swore I learned my lesson, but just when I least expected it, I found myself in the same place I was last summer... humbled. I let my pride swell so large it popped in my face (imagine, shall we, this metaphor in the form of a water balloon popping instead of a zit popping, as I realize the illustration might illicit. Ew.).

My painting class really is getting the best of me. My painting class! Since last
week's fear, I went into the day with a new air of confidence, my first sketch in
hand and a stronger sense of direction. But when I walked into the room, that
popping thing happened, and I realized I misunderstood the homework
completely. The other students were proudly displaying their large, fully done, oil
on canvas masterpieces, while I, hot and red, taped my 8x10" sketch to an easel. We had to do a full painting in seven days? No lo entendí. And then, after
critiquing the other student's beautiful and thoughtful work, I had to explain to
my whole class, TA and professor-- while trying to salvage any bit of dignity-- that I did not understand the assignment but did have an idea for a painting... "Yes but where is this idea on this dinky piece of paper?" Um... how do you say... um... Fail. My Spanish turned to gibberish, my confidence disappeared, my artistic intention failed...

I actually did indeed want to die at that moment.
I walked slash RAN out of the classroom at the end of the 5 hours never wanting
to show my sorry American face to those people ever again. And while I still feel
this way, I do realize that embarrassment-- no shame-- this deep always comes
with a lesson. I forgot what it was like to be humbled, and I needed a little dose.
You think you know everything and don't need help, not even from God? BAM,
not so much. Déjà vu, Philippines!

So now, I'm back to knowing nothing. And it's not this pathetic, I-can't-handle myself, knowing nothing. Rather, it's an attitude change towards being more
open to saying, "I need help, I don't have it all together, and I am not a Chilean
superstar." And from here you can only go up, and the pressure is off to be so
perfect. Lesson learned!

"We do not want to be beginners. But let us be convinced of the fact that we will
never be anything else but beginners, all of our life!"
-Thomas Merton


  1. As the great Peter wrote, "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He will lift you up." I guess if we're putting ourselves up so high then there's no room (or need) for God to do His thing. So well said, Kakes, and I appreciate your transparency. I love you so! bmw

  2. This is long, so hang in there. The following is an excerpt from a little book I have been reading (the excerpt is from Julian of Norwich): "And when we have fallen, through frailty or blindness, then our courteous Lord touches us, stirs us, and calls us. And then He wills that we should see our wretchedness adn humbly acknowledge it. BUT it is not His will that we should stay like this, nor does He will that we should busy ourselves too much with self-accusations; nor is it His will that we should despise ourselves. But He wills that we should quickly turn to Him. He is quick to clasp us to Himself, for we are His joy and His delight..."

  3. i love you being raw and real.

  4. Failure is not a bad thing when a lesson is learned....For without failure, we would never grow in body, mind or spirit. "G"ma, one half of G & G.

  5. I bet your work was better anyways!