Lessons in feeling stuck


I have a habit of wanting to learn how to do everything, so I’m no stranger to feeling a bit out of my depth. It’s a pretty familiar feeling – to the extent that I’m resigned to a background level of “huh?” Perhaps because of that, it takes a lot to really stress me out when I get stuck – but when I get to that level, I tend to obsess about conquering whatever I’m stuck on, to the exclusion of – well, proper human interaction, eating a balanced diet; stuff like that.

(As I write this, the thought occurs that this isn’t a particularly healthy approach on several levels. Good thing I’ve got a yoga class this evening).

On Sunday, I tried to do what should have been a quick and simple task: create a static page for an acting portfolio, and upload it to the site outside WordPress. I can’t say the result was very pretty in terms of coding (I was lazy and adapted an existing OpenOffice doc, which I then tweaked a bit) but it did the job, and I got it up.

I then made the mistake of thinking I could easily edit the .htaccess file, which is a voodoo force that does lots of magic directing site traffic to the right place and telling it how to behave. In the right hands, it’s a powerful tool: mine are not that pair of hands. I managed to get myself in a pickle despite taking backups, and break the relationship between WordPress and how it was handled by the site host. I spent far too much time chasing my tail and trying to fix things. I drank a large quantity of coffee. I hit Google like a ninja.

Then I found technological salvation in the form of Ask WordPress Girl, who took me in hand and talked me through troubleshooting to hone in on the problem and sort it. I am massively grateful for this – and it’s also been a good lesson to me.

  1. Hubris, much? (say no more) & knowing one’s limits
  2. It’s okay to ask for help
  3. The relief that comes from being un-stuck is a wonderful thing!

As someone who tends to be the one helping troubleshoot computer and tech issues, it’s valuable for me to be on the other side of the equation and to remember what it feels like to be consumed with frustration – and how great it is when someone can make it all go away and restore the balance of things.

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