It’s not often that people share openly about their awkwardness and fears about ‘what will people think’ so when Lyndon sent me this honest piece of writing, I thought you’d be glad for the share. Even if it’s not all pretty. Awkward and messy is ok! It can lead to wonderful discoveries! – Kerrie
G’day, my name is Lyndon and I am a postie (mailman). I love my job because I am able to ride a motorbike around all day and have someone else maintain it for me and even receive remuneration for doing it :) I am also Kerrie’s husband so know all about how she loves to talk to strangers. One of her main points is to be curious and I would like to share with you how curiosity lead to a new discovery and enjoyment for myself and 2 strangers.
I was doing my thing, riding around Dubbo delivering mail. As a postie you learn to be very observant because you are always looking out for holes, pedestrians, dogs, magpies (they are a whole other story), and cars that want to run you over. This particular day however I saw a bright orange fungus growing out of the ground we do not see often here, so I stopped to take a photo and put on instagram; as I do when i see something interesting. However, I remembered that the people living in the house I had just delivered mail to were out the front saying goodbye to friends and I felt foolish getting off my bike in my big chunky wet weather gear, crouching down and taking a photo of a piece of orange fungus.
The urge to just ride away was strong, but I was curious and had not seen one of these Stinkhorn fungi in many years. After a few moments of super quick argument in my mind I decided to get over my fear of looking foolish, jumped off the bike and knelt down to take a few snaps, jump back on and ride off. Still feeling very silly crouching there looking like a bright yellow star on the footpath, the older couple, finishing saying goodbye saw me and began to walk toward me. My stomach tightened and I felt like an idiot. “How stupid am I. Almost lying on the ground trying to take a photo of a fungus covered in flies.
When they were about half way they called out to me in a curious voice “What are you looking at?” I replied “just taking a photo of this Stinkhorn growing in your front lawn.” They quickened their pace and both bent down with surprised expressions on their faces and said “Wow, you are very observant. What is it? We have never seen one of these before. It is so interesting.” We chatted briefly about it and being observant then when I said I needed to keep going they both expressed their gratitude and how excited they were that I stopped because they were able to discover something new and meet their postie.
They walked back inside talking about a stinkhorn and their observant postie. I rode off feeling happy that I not only got the photo I wanted but also made an old couple’s day.
This would not have happened If I was not curious enough to look foolish and feel awkward and if they were not curious enough to wonder what I was looking at.
Note from Kerrie –
I love this story as it’s so common to miss opportunities to learn and connect when we’re afraid of looking foolish or afraid of asking. Any brave entrepreneur/leader/difference-maker knows what it is to overcome (and struggle with) ‘what will people think?’
Let’s continue to push ourselves out of the comfort zone and keep learning! Keep growing personally and professionally – making a bigger difference.
Contact me if you want to live bravely! It matters!