As a lawyer turned writer, then as a creative turned business owner, not to mention as a plain old human being, I have often felt helpless. Flustered. And full of self-hatred and shame. I often assume, no, I know, that everyone else knows how to do everything just right-- and frankly this makes me sick.
But I am moving past “helplessness” and it’s like seeing the sun rise for the first time.
I want to take you with me. If you have ever felt inept as though you can’t run a business, write a screenplay, find a lover or an answer, or roll up your yoga mat evenly which, personally I think is a covert form of hell, I want to tell you a story about going past imaginary limits. It’s a story of self-forgiveness. It’s a story of hitting your full potential. Actually, it’s a story of folding a goddamn blanket. But it’s really a story of unfoldment, of how to teach yourself to do anything in this world you want or need to do.
I’d been visiting a friend who is a famous author and speaker and staying in her charming guest house in San Francisco. “What do you want me to do with the bedding?” I ask her, as I’m leaving early the next morning and won’t see her. “Oh, fold the blankets back up and leave it at the foot of the bed with the others,” she says casually. I try not to twitch or gasp. I was hoping she would say “Just leave it in a reckless heap like you leave everything. I’ll take care of it. I’ll be the good mommy.” But no such luck. I am on my own here. With bedding issues.
In the morning, I pack up and the only thing I need to do is face the dreaded task of “folding the blanket.” I stare at the crumpled outrage. Obviously, I was fighting Godzilla in my sleep. Then I study the other white blankets at the foot of the bed, deriding me, white cotton folded with German engineering, resting like smug doves.
My stomach clenches. I am going to screw this up. I am a screw up. I am going to create a lumpy, ugly, bulging inept pile that announces either raw disregard or reprehensible incompetence. I think about writing a note apologizing. I feel like an idiot. Folding things neatly. I missed that class in kindergarten. I was probably having a cigarette or a Jujube.