Learning new things

Photo above from ARKive of the American kestrel (Falco sparverius)

Last night I learned how to administer liquids subcutaneously on an Eastern Gray Squirrel and an American Kestrel. Sometimes animals can’t or won’t eat or drink on their own so to make sure they stay hydrated we need to carefully (and with proper training) inject liquids just below the skin so their body can absorb it. I was always a little afraid to do this and when they were training me they kept saying things like, “don’t do this or you’ll hit bone,” or muscle or veins… all bad things. But it went well and now I know how to safely “sub-q.”

I’ve been noticing recently (because it’s only been recently that I’ve found what I’m passionate about doing) that the way I approach learning is completely different when I’m at Wildwoods versus when I’m, say, at work. In both areas I’m still learning, but it’s been far easier to learn at Wildwoods than at my new job. It’s interesting how, when given similar situations, we can act completely differently in different settings. For example, I’ve always said it’s far better to ask the question and look stupid than to make an assumption and prove yourself to be stupid when it all goes wrong. However, I also have an ego and a strong desire to show everyone around me I know what the f*ck I’m doing, even when I don’t. Which of those things wins depends on where I am. I don’t know why, but at work it’s extremely hard for me to stop Ego from winning. I often have to remind myself that I should just ask the question. At Wildwoods, though, the stakes are far too high to even give Ego a leg to stand on so I always ask the question and it’s not hard to do so.

I guess it’s because I’m quite passionate about wildlife rehabilitation so it’s easier to set aside the fear of looking stupid because I am focused on the long-term bigger picture. I want to do more. On the flip side, it’s not that I don’t like my job, but I’m not passionate about it and quite frankly I don’t think there will ever be more to it than what I do now. There is no long-term bigger picture. Maybe that’s the key; ambition. Then again, it could also have something to do with the way people treat me when I ask questions. At Wildwoods they gladly answer and teach me anything I don’t know. At work I can practically see their mind’s eyes roll at me.

Is this the same for anyone else? Do you find that when you’re doing something you’re passionate about it’s easier to overcome obstacles that are nearly impossible when doing something else?

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