Computers Make Me Cry


“Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it.” Maya Angelou

Change and growth can be painful; also they’re inevitable and imperative. What hard things are you facing that make you want to give up? What purpose or calling looms for you? What ideas and dreams permeate your thinking?

I’ve been pondering those very questions and I’m determined to conquer my own hurdles!

A few months ago, I made some new friends. They were all young and they wore matching shirts. The first night hanging out went well. A patient young man helped me make some big decisions.

I realized I had a lot to learn and what better teachers than these smart people? They all seemed to be bilingual. I first noticed this when a tall, nice looking guy spoke to me across a counter. Our eyes seemed to lock, or maybe it was just that my eyes became completely glazed. Anyway, he said something that sounded like, “Your ‘smpt’… blah blah blah…and your incoming mail… blah blah blah… and your outgoing server… blah blah blah is not compatible and will not interface with the new system…blah blah blah…and basically you made a big mistake creating files for your inbox…blah blah blah…”

I calmly (like a zombie) said to him, “I’m sorry; I don’t speak that language; I’ve been trying to learn it for years, but I have no idea what you just said.”

I spent over a week with my new “friends”, visiting them most evenings and regularly speaking to Jamie, James, Daniel and the whole gang on the phone.  I imagined that we would be celebrating Thanksgiving together at my house in a few weeks. We were all getting so familiar with each other. It wasn’t my favorite way to make friends. It felt too forced and stressful. My situation was unique and more difficult than most. I think they were trying to tell me that I was special. I even told one of them—I think it was Daniel—that having me there would prove to be a very good training for them. “It’s good for you to spend time with me because there are a lot of people out there like me.” I know they were glad for the encouragement.

I came close to giving up; I almost resigned myself to writing on a yellow ledger pad and talking on the phone instead of emailing. Could I survive without a computer? I was seriously pondering this question. My parents, years earlier, had eschewed computer technology, which I didn’t get at the time. Somehow they survived. Now I was beginning to understand why. It is too hard, it’s not intuitive and it made me want to scream.

But, instead, I started to cry because that was quieter and less disruptive. I got away before the tears were very obvious. I made a decision. I’ll go forward and get whatever help I need to learn the new things and the hard things so I won’t find myself lost and behind. It’s the way our whole world communicates, for Pete’s sake. And here I sit writing this post on my new laptop. There is a ton on it that I still don’t understand or have set up properly, but there are helpers out there! I learned that from the friends in matching shirts.

Now, the geek squad and computer technology may not be your Achilles’ heel. But we all face hurdles as we move ahead in life. What do you need today to bring you closer to accomplishing your goals? Today take one small step in the right direction. Baby steps. No one else can play your part.

“She was unstoppable, not because she did not have failures or doubts, but because she continued on despite them.” Beau Taplin



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