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How to Make an Ass of Yourself in One Easy Step

In addition to being the only person I've ever known to use the word "whence" in spoken conversation, my ninth grade english teacher also wins the superlative for Person In Life Most Likely to Tell Me What Happens when You Assume.

[In case you are one of the lucky ones who has never heard this play on words, the answer is:  "You make an 'ass' out of '-u' and '-me.']

I've never much liked that expression, mostly because it is typically said rather asstasticly.  Irony makes me cough.

Nevertheless, apparently this saying is something I should be keeping in mind from time to time always.  Like when I email someone and they don't respond so I assume they have a problem with me.  Or when, hypothetically, I call a producer at Harpo studios to ask whether I am correct in deducing that I have been cut from Oprah's Life Class and I don't hear back so I ASSUME that I my conclusions are correct.

HYPOTHETICALLY, I might make an ass of myself if I were to do THAT, for instance.

My friends:  you can believe people when they tell you that these interwebs are capable of spreading information far and wide.  Because somehow or other, my post titled "Things I Learned about Embarrassment by Being Cut From Oprah's Lifeclass" found its way all the way to Chicago, of all places.  And the good people at Harpo studios were kind enough to call me after they read that post to inform me that in the end, I HAD, in fact, been on Oprah's Lifeclass.  They also very kindly explained the source of my confusion.

I tell you what.  It's a good thing I recently analyzed my thoughts on embarrassment because I am finding myself experiencing new heights of this emotion.


[Le sigh again.]


Ah, well!  I have resolved myself to grow from all uncomfortable situations, and this I shall do again!

I am writing today's post because I realize I made a mistake and I want to apologize for unintentionally misrepresenting the facts.  My heart sinks knowing that I may have inadvertently painted someone I admire (Oprah, and her team) in a negative light, when my intentions were only positive and growth-minded.  

Oh, LIFE!!  Thank you for your cockameemee ways of helping me to grow!

Now the question is:  what do I take from this?  How do I use this situation to make myself wiser in the future?

Do I use this as proof that it is dangerous for me to stick my neck out there, and that in the future I should play things safe so as to not risk more public embarrassment?

That's the tempting response, but it's also the cowardly one.  It's the voice of Resistance.

If I were to allow this embarrassing mistake to fuel my self-doubt, thereby smothering my optimism, my courage, or my eagerness to grow, then a piece of my soul would die.

I would not be letting myself shine.

A better response is to see this as proof that despite how f-ing hard I try otherwise, I am GOING to make mistakes.  AND THANK GOODNESS FOR IT, because this is the quickest way for me to grow.

If we handle them right, mistakes are the fast lane towards becoming our best selves.  

Lesson numero dos here is the awareness that I jump to negative conclusions WITHOUT EVEN REALIZING IT.  There was no doubt in my mind that we had been cut from that Oprah episode; you can bet your booty that, otherwise, I never would have written that post.

If I'm not AWARE of when I'm making assumptions, how often am I basing my emotions on negative speculation?  How much good energy is going up in smoke due to PHANTOM problems??

My guess would be:  a LOT of it.  OFTEN.

I think what went wrong here was that I allowed my desire for growth to outpace my optimism.  I was a bit overzealous about making lemonade from lemons when in fact I did not have lemons at all.

Next time I think I am about to receive a shipment of lemons, I should consider that maybe the fruit truck is actually on its way to deliver APPLES!  And then, wouldn't I feel like a fool when I set up my lemonade stand and the truck delivers APPLES!

I disagree with my english teacher:  making assumptions isn't the problem.  Making NEGATIVE assumptions:  that's the problem.  Jack Canfield had it right when he told us to become inverse paranoids, assuming at every turn that the world is plotting to serve, enrich, and empower us.

A widespread inverse paranoid movement sure would relieve our world of some serious asstasticness.

So perhaps Oprah WILL eventually dub me "the AH-HA Maven" after all.

My wager?

Highly likely.