“Am I good at something other than being smart?” That’s the gist of the question I asked my mom this weekend after I mulled over one thing I wanted to be really good; you know that one thing that people fawn over that you
wished you had the amazing ability to do. For me, that one thing is singing. I’m better than average but not as good as great.
It doesn’t matter that I’m a great dancer, a great writer or even a great leader. And it doesn’t matter that I’m dependable, curious, outspoken, opinionated, a bit crafty…or the MULTITUDE of other talents and gifts I possess. I, in pure Gina fashion, went and found the one thing that I’m not good at (or at least the one thing I really care about.)
To begin, I love attention. And it’s not that I don’t get enough of it. Let’s just blame the overt and conspicuous attention-seeking behaviors to an extreme amount of positive reinforcement, oldest child, youngest grandchild, only girl, syndrome. – Okay…I’m neither an only child nor the youngest grandchild anymore, but going 6 years as an only child and the next grandchild being my brother, there was a fair share of brat molding going on. But I digress.
I have to be the best. I don’t like to be in the middle or only mediocre. If I like something and feel it’s worth my time investment, I feel like I have to be the best at it. I was the same way about basketball. And I’m not sure there’s any good to this; not just because you become a haughty little brat, but also because you’re consistently setting yourself up for disappointment. It’s great to reach for the stars, but when its unhealthy, the mirror is telling me there’s room for
I want to be seen as glamorous or sexy or something like that. And when is smart ever any of those things?
Smart individuals are portrayed as societal outcasts who only become acceptable once they have been given an external makeover… [insert sarcasm]. And even if they are smart without the makeover, they already have to be sexy…or some other fantasy Hollywood puts into our mind.
But the number one reason boils down to the age-old chiché, the grass is always greener…well, you fill in the blank. It’s because we possess a ton of amazing qualities, but we tend to hone in on those things that we are not. Like I said above…who cares about the multitude of talents and gifts I have? And who cares about the brain that I’ve been given? I had to go and focus on the things I wasn’t.
I was happy to hear my mom reinforce the fact that I was a good dancer without prompting. She even said I was a better writer than dancer…though it took a little nudging to help her see that my type of writing wasn’t just book smart (smile).
Even if she didn’t reinforce those two things – especially dance – it may have been a blow to my ego, but it wouldn’t have changed my reality. And in reality, I’d never give up my brain for the ability to sing. I love the gifts and talents I’ve been given, and there’s no reason to be greedy, right?
Moral of the story: You probably don’t want that other thing as bad as you think you do.