Wow, week two and I already fell off the wagon! Only one post for last week (and it was a copied note at that, not a piece of my own writing). Not great at all. But, on a brighter note, here I am again. At least I haven’t fallen that far.
The truth is I’ve had lots of ideas of what to blog about last week but I’ve put off the writing for “later” and something always gets in the way (eventually it’s sleep cause I only stay up so “late”) and I say “tomorrow” and it starts all over again. But really I think the reason I put it off is lack of clarity about where I’m going with a thought. I’m a little bit of a perfectionist. If I’m going to do something then I want to do it right. And so, I want to know that I’m going to put in a good piece of writing. But there are no guarantees that that’s ever going to happen. Especially when 1) I’m not a professional writer, 2) I need practice and that necessarily involves some (or maybe a lot of) bad writing and 3) maybe my ideas suck.
You would think that 4+ years of living in Guyana where things are perpetually less than ideal would have given me the courage to just jump in. It has certainly inspired lots of other people to do just that. In fact, I’m often amazed at the number of people who put themselves out there even when what they’re offering is not quite up to scratch. I sincerely admire these people. Like I said, failure is usually a necessary part of the success story. What I appreciate most is that it makes sense. If there’s a vacuum in some area or the other, why not try to fill it? Maybe you’re not an expert, maybe you’re not trained, but so what? Isn’t something better than nothing? And how can anyone raise standards if there isn’t a starting point? Rome wasn’t built in a day etc etc
I once attended a zumba (dance aerobic) class with an instructor from the US. She was a certified zumba instructor and adverstised herself as the only one in Guyana. Now, I had been going to another zumba class on and off taught by someone who wasn’t (I suppose) certified but it was (and still is) a very fun class. Still I thought I’d check another class out because I love zumba and if it’s exercise and I’m enjoying it then pursue it I must! The class was a good one and afterward I asked the instructor if she’d ever consider teaching a dance class. I’ve been longing to join a dance class since I got here but I’m more interested in jazz than Indian or contemporary dance and haven’t managed to find any classes. She surprised me by saying she wouldn’t because she wasn’t trained in dance. It’s a sign of how I’ve acclimatized to Guyana that my first thought was “And…?” So what? It’s dance, not surgery. I can watch zumba videos online and do zumba in my bedroom whenever I want to music I personally prefer and to routines I enjoy. But I don’t (well I do sometimes but on my ‘off’ days). I prefer to go to a class. I like being in person in a class and feeding off the energy of the crowd. It feels like a party of sorts. I like having an instructor in front of me who knows me and calls me out when I’m slacking. I like laughing with my gym buddies when we mess up some steps or find another person’s enthusiastic if off routine moves amusing. And I love when the people around me and I are in sync – it’s a sort of strange, almost transcendental moment. There must be something to it, I’m sure. The point is, my instructor could copy all the moves from youtube videos and I’d still show up to class. I think that sometimes certifications and qualifications are superfluous. If you can get the job done well then that’s good enough.
On the flip side, sometimes we overdo it here in Guyana. There are low bars everywhere and until people bring better work and standards, they’re going to stay. With the lack of regard for qualifications, sometimes people get chosen for ill suited tasks or jobs. Mostly because of their relationships, sometimes because of popularity. It is as common as litter and tardiness, as just as debilitating.
All of that rambling to say that this is just a personal blog, not surgery – no one gets hurt if I write badly. So I’m going to try harder to show up, qualified or not.