You’re Not Going to Be Good at Everything
And that is just the cold hard truth. Trust me, this is something I have seriously tried to prove wrong. I’m one of those personalities that thrives on success. I love being successful. Seriously! When I get something right, it makes me feel really good about myself. I start thinking, Oh, I’m such a natural at this. If only finding all the items on the grocery list in less than ten minutes was like an Olympic sport or something. I might win a medal! I’m just so naturally good at it! You may laugh, but you’ve probably thought that (or something similar) about yourself before, too.
And then there’s the flip side. I hate it when I stink at something. It’s embarrassing and degrading and downright awful! If I could have it my way, I would just be totally great at every single thing I tried. And that would be the end of things.
Unfortunately, no matter how nice that would be, that’s just not how life goes. Case in point: I was talking with one of my friend’s moms the other day, and the topic of my work came up.
Her: So you waited fourteen years to write your first book, huh?
Me: Yes, ma’am. (Because I am such a Southern belle)
Her: And then you got it published.
Me: Yes, it was a really exciting experience!
Her: And you teach piano.
Me: Yes, ma’am.
Her: And you have a photography business.
Me (getting uncomfortable): Um, yes ma’am.
Her: Well, you’re just good at everything, aren’t you?
I probably would have laughed right then if not for the fact that 1) she was totally serious, and 2) she was completely wrong. Why? Because I am bad at so many things. I didn’t learn how to ride a bike until I was thirteen. And then, on my first day on wheels, I crashed into a brick wall. My cooking skills are sometimes questionable, and I once caught the oven on fire while baking a pie. My stick figure drawings look anorexic, if that’s even possible, and if I had to run for my life I would probably die.
But you know what? I wouldn’t trade any of that for the world. So what if I fake the high C’s and lose chess games in two bad moves? If I let myself believe those are the only things keeping me from being perfect, then I might be in serious need of a psychiatrist. (In addition to a chess tutor, which I am in obvious need of, so that my games can last longer than five minutes)
In the end, that woman walked away without any false illusions of me or my greatness. My family ended up cracking up when she said that last line, and took turns going around in a circle sharing everything I am definitely not good at. “Have you seen the girl drive a golf cart? She can make an open field look dangerous!” But still, the conversation made me think.
You know what? I failed at something this week. I mixed up my driving directions on the way to the movie theater and ended up making two or three U-turns, hopefully all of which were legal. But it doesn’t bother me. So what if I’m bad at directions? Who really cares? In the end, I’m not going to try to be good at everything because, quite frankly, I probably wouldn’t be very good at it. 😉
P.S. The illustration up top may not necessarily relate to this post, but that is what my interpretation of art looks like. If you needed proof.