It has been a humbling experience being a student again, on a subject which I know I would suck but I never expected myself to suck that much.

IMG_4316-editNo puns intended but it was a fundamental left turn which I couldn’t get it right after 400 minutes of lessons.

I thought I would be fine. I did not clear the stage the first three times but I do see that ever small bit of improvement and I was perky and excited about it.

The fourth time, I lost it all. Everything I did seem terrible and of course, I did not manage to clear it. I walked out of the driving center feeling really discouraged and disappointed at myself.

That was the first time in a long while which I felt that I wanted to give up because I felt that I wasn’t able to go through this. Just thinking about the plank, the shalom, the figure 8 course and the crank course which will come in the next few lessons if I manage to pass this one scares me.

A large part of it was ego, an ego of a man who was afraid of losing and not able to learn as quickly as so many other people, and always having a fear mental block.

I also hate it when I said I wanted to start on something and I didn’t see through to it. During my teenage years, there were too many instances where I just give up on something too soon. In the end, it was a waste in my investment both time and money, amplified by the fact that my family wasn’t well to do; I felt I was wasting away my parents hard-earned money.

The biggest irony is that I’m a lecturer, and I always tell my students not to give up.

It was bitter. Very bitter. It took me lots of courage to being on my lessons and now I felt that I wanted to give up because of ego and fear. Unacceptable. Yurusenai.

I knew I had to reach out. I immediately popped a message to my friend, James, who was also learning riding to explained how I felt. He had been a great inspiration to get me started and keep me going in my journey to ride and he always seems to know exactly the words to say to make me feel better.

“Perhaps this is how your students felt during programming lessons.”

Well, if it is then this would be an important rite of passage for me then. To fail, fail, fail, and try again. Since I’m the almost-always-get-A student, always stump about how best to motivate my students, now I have a story to that I can relate with and share too.

There’s also Ray who openly shared his personal stories with me and expressing lots of empathy. It always help to know that I am not alone in the situation.

I also did a shout out on Twitter and Facebook. I must say I’m surprised at the number of people who responded and left me a reply of encouragement. Some also private message me to find out what’s going on. To everyone, I’m very very thankful that you did what you did. You made me feel safe to dare greatly again.

Let’s see how far I can go. It’s still too soon to call it quits. Yes, got to put that ego aside. Fear everyone has it, just got to manage it. But, there’s no place for ego in a learning environment.

On hindsight, now I know what I felt. It was the warm wash of shame that Brené Brown, my favourite author, often talked about. Empathy rules.