Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Unnatural

Many of us start life with misguided ambition. Our socialization from birth to early childhood generally establishes distinct gender roles. Because of this it is not uncommon to find boys who want to grow up to be fireman/athletes or astronauts and girls who want to be veterinarians or actresses. As children we do not possess the awareness that we will in all likelihood not become one of these things.  Whether it is because of a lack of coordination, height, weight, physical strength or mental ability we all end up doing different things regardless of our similar childhood dreams.

The good news despite our shortcomings is that many of us discover our true talents as a result of not measuring up in other fields.  Once a specific aptitude reveals itself we are able to cultivate it into a trained skill. Eventually the hope is that the skill will be profitable and that we can make a career out of what we are good at.  For my entire life I've been waiting for my great mysterious skill to present itself but I have as yet to find it.

I'm not particularly good at math. If I pay close attention and use a lot of effort I can generally figure out the problem. My hangup with school math was that I was never content with merely accepting that there were predetermined steps toward arriving at an answer. If no new ground was being covered I was easily distracted. Sure, if I ever understood the absolute meaning/function of an equation it was certainly inspiring, but not inspiring enough for me to work at understanding math to any complex degree.

In the field of science there was also a lot of math so already we got off on a bad foot. Next, there came important AND serious writing where you had to be responsible and conjure up hypotheses.  Even worse  these hypotheses had to be supported with facts derived from tests, tests which I had to design and monitor for inconsistencies. BORING! Don't get me wrong I love science and sciency things. However, I prefer to read about scientific discoveries retrospectively and then regurgitate that information to family and friends in order to appear intelligent.  

If I had any natural ability early on in my life it was sadly with the "sport" of five pin bowling. Yes, I really cleaned up the pins as a child bowling star, in Canada, in a sport that no one else plays or has any interest in. I was also an adequate all around sports player but nothing I could have eventually parlayed into a scholarship.

I suppose I am a fairly creative person but of all my creative pursuits: writing, drawing, music I do not feel that I possess a master skill in any of them. About 10 years ago I thought that if I just kept concentrating on areas that I am quasi talented in that eventually one ability would stand up and scream "I AM A SKILL!!!" Alas, that day never came.

My additional thought is this: Perhaps there are people who are far less skilled than I who have decided they have a skill because they are so skill-less in all other areas. I know for a fact that there are several people out in the world who are under qualified to do their jobs but I wonder, do they know that they are underqualified? Could it be that they realized early on that they had no real intelligence and/or ability and decided to diligently work hard until they were able to climb up the ranks of employability? Do experts really think that they are experts or are the merely hiding behind a facade of importance hoping and praying that you don't see the little kid playing dress up?


  1. You are fantastical at finding pictures and putting words on them. Maybe somebody will pay you for that.

  2. When I was a kid I used to tell people that when I grew I wanted to be a "gelignite man".
    I didn't want a sex change, but I did want to blow things up.
    Sadly the closest I have gotten to this is various cooking disasters and setting fire to a bin.

  3. we all have something that we consider a talent. i think some people just never delve far enough to find it.

    mine hit me in the ass as soon as i was born.

  4. Too true. It took me years to find my true calling; chewing and swallowing. I'm such an expert at these activities that I do them four times a day, every day!