Thursday, February 11, 2010

on Being Good at Everything

I've mentioned before that I was known as Little Suzy OverAchiever at various times throughout my life. Basically because academically - it came easily. And being the perfectionist that I am, I spent roughly twice as long perfecting the look of something (style over substance) and making it perfect. So I was always near the top of the class. But in the rest of my life I fall firmly into the average category.

On a scale of 1-10 I fall around 5. For everything.

There are very few things in life I have attempted that I cannot do, or cannot do fairly well (certain sports fall into this category,). I'm average at everything. I am "good" at everything. But there is nothing that I excel at.

LOML (love of my life) excels at sports. That's her thing. And when she's on, she's on. She is a force to be reckoned with. But me?

I'm good at architecture and design. I can create nice looking designs and average plans. My work was always near the top simply for the aforementioned fact that I am a perfectionist obsessed with aesthetics and I wanted it to look pretty. That made it stand out. But my designs were ordinary, and took a lot of thought.

I'm good at writing - but not great. I'm not that insightful, and the depth I reach in my writing....yeah, see that puddle over there? It's deeper than I am. I'd like to be the kind of person who reaches people with their words. My main ambition in life was to be a brilliant author, from the time I was 6 years old. But truth be told? I'm just not a great writer.

I'm good at photography - but not brilliant. I would like to be...but I'm not. I fluke a few great shots but I'm not consistent.

I'm good at baking and cooking - but not brilliant. I try to be...but I'm not (and a lot of my success comes more from my mother having perfected certain recipes over the last 40 years than my own capacity as cook)**

I'm a good mother but not a great one. I know people who were born to be mothers. They are dedicated and loving 100% of the time. On a good day I average 45% love and patience. On a bad day it hovers somewhere around -10%.

I have friends who are brilliant artists. Their art is all they need and all they do. It's all they focus on. I have friends who were brilliant at architecture. They came out with madcap, amazing, incredible designs off the top of their heads. I have friends who are spectacular dancers/photographers/designers/sportspeople/writers the list goes on. For those people, their talent, their skill is clear, and apparent and they can dedicate themselves to perfecting that art.

I have nothing. I can do just about everything that I try. But I'm not really good at anything. Which is something I struggle with. There are a hundred things I enjoy, that I would like to pursue, but I struggle with the feeling that there is no ONE THING that I can do, better than anyone. I want one thing to focus on.

Am I the only one?
Does it even matter?



** on the upside I've never come up with anything like this beauty:














2 comments:

  1. Because I don't have the perfectionist gene, I am happy to know a little about a lot. To be good at many things, I think, is far more useful than being great at one thing. For one reason, if you get bored or discouraged in one venue, you can change to something else until you're ready to tackle that area again.

    I hope you do find your focus, though. Being discontent sucks. Or come to the dark side...you're not the only one!

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  2. Ahh, yes, my dad calls it "jack of all trades, master of none" when referring to me (nice, eh?) But? That is where I fall as well. Perhaps it has to do with that perfectionist desire? With a perfectionist mentality it's never going to be perfect. So, perhaps you really are a lot better at all of those things than you think you are because from where I stand, you're a pretty rockin' woman!

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