When I was in college, I went to India for a couple of months. I wanted to learn about the Grameen Bank and micro lending, so I asked an organization if I could intern with them for a few weeks. They said yes. In reality, I had nothing to offer them. Two or three weeks was not enough time to be of any service. But I did get to learn, just like I wanted.
I might have learned more if I was not so concerned about being there. Even though I asked and they said yes, I felt weird inserting myself. As I have written before, I often do not feel welcome in a space and it holds me back.
I am writing this while traveling to give presentations to educate a nearby community about estate planning. I am running into the same ‘outsiders’ feeling. Who am I to come into this small town? It’s like inviting myself to a party. Except that I created the party and I’m inviting people to choose whether to come.
Both are examples of wanting to be chosen, to be given permission, for someone to say that it’s okay to be present.
And it is a reminder that there’s nobody around to give out that permission. If you’re not actively seeking what you want, no one is going to read your mind and just give it to you.