An Embarrassing Story…
I’m out of my depth…
But, to be fair, it’s not the first time.
I’m sure you’ve been out of your depth many times in your life too, right?
This is where we usually learn where our limits are (oh, wow, I sound a bit like like Tony Robbins there! :-P).
Anyway, the reason I’m so completely out of my depth is because I’m making a knife. And, to be honest, I’m a small fish in a big pond here.
And it gets worse:
As I’ve started to share this How To Make A Knife journey with you …I’ve come to realise that the raving fans and die-hard customers of Cogent Industries know waaaaaaay more about knives than I do.
But I’m not attached to my ego. And so it’s pretty damn cool to have others stand up and really help me out in this process.
I’ve been learning about “blade steel” …and “detents” …and “slip-joints” …and “galling” ….and a whole load of stuff I’ve never heard of. It’s fantastic to have over-the-top-helpful-knife-nuts commenting and emailing me to help me out. Very cool indeed.
Here’s the progress I’ve made so far…
It’s going to be a long road to learn this stuff – but that’s fine.
Believe it or not…
Three years ago I had barely heard of titanium (I still remember ordering my first 12″ x 12″ sheet of titanium from the USA …oh my god those were exciting times!). And now, a few years later, I somehow seem to be known as “the titanium guy”.
I’m confident these things can be learned. Just takes time.
For example (and this is an embarrassing personal story):
Nearly 10 years ago when I first travelled on my own (or travelled at all for that matter) …I came to New Zealand on a working holiday.
I was a fairly shy young fellow growing up (actually, that’s a lie, I was probably one of the shyest people you would even meet – seriously!). I was one of those people who would break out in a sweat and go red if I had to talk to someone new I didn’t know.
And I thought getting out into the world would make it easier for me and I’d be forced to get outside my “comfort zone”.
“I was probably one of the shyest people
you would even meet…”
But, dear lord, it just made it even worse. I don’t think I ever felt so alone when I first started travelling. Looking back on it now …it’s kinda funny. But at the time it was ….well …it was horrible.
I was so self conscious what I landed in New Zealand and found myself in the city of Auckland. I remember standing at the traffic lights and waiting to cross the road …and feeling like the entire city was staring at me (they weren’t of course – but it felt like that).
I REALLY needed to get this under control. I needed to get this shyness and inability to talk to people under control.
So here was my plan (a plan so cunning that even a fox would be forced to give me credit for it):
I needed a pair of shoes. And so… I decided I’d spend a few weeks “looking” for a pair of shoes.
And, over the next few weeks, I went into a few shoe shops every day and tried to just “chit chat” and have fun with whichever salesperson was trying to help me with my search for shoes (the reason I “needed” to have salespeople to talk to was that, to my mind, they were likely to be nice, helpful and not scared away by my weirdness …which was perfect for trying to overcome my shyness).
At first it was awful. Then it wasn’t so bad. Then it was kinda fun.
After a couple of weeks I’d be making jokes (bad jokes of course …but jokes nonetheless) with people I had only met 10 seconds ago. Something I’d never done in my entire life (because I’d usually just be wondering how the hell I could get out of the conversation …because I was so shy).
“At first it was awful.
Then it wasn’t so bad.
Then it was kinda fun.”
From there I made slow and steady progress over the years. Even as far as to join Toastmasters a few years ago to learn public speaking. I can now fairly comfortably speak in front of a crowd of people …which, to be honest, I still find myself surprised I can do this.
I’m still massively flawed and far from being the life and soul of the party. But, for sure, I’ve made some progress.
Why am I telling you this story?
Two reasons I think:
Firstly, because I think it helps get my point across to you about being “out of my depth” in making a knife …and that it’s just a matter of learning the skills and putting in the effort.
Secondly, I think I just wanted to share this story with you …for my own amusement. Shaking off that “shy guy” thing was a long, slow road and something I wanted to get rid of for years. I did it (from my own point of view at least). And so, I believe I can do other things …like making a knife. 🙂