not really good at anything

I grew up in a household of varying interests with a mother who ensured that we were always learning/doing/seeing something new and different. Over the years (childhood until now) I’ve learned and done a lot! I learned how to cook and sew. I learned about music. I played multiple sports. I took dance classes. I was in gifted and talented programs that exposed me to different languages and advanced math. I somehow got this crazy travel bug and decided to move to Belgium as a 14-year-old high school student. I was a cheerleader. I swam. I taught swimming lessons. I became pretty good at step aerobics.

I babysat and loved (and still do love) taking care of my nieces and nephew. I skied. I backpacked through Europe. I ice-skated and roller-bladed. I learned how to drive a stick shift and then took those skills off-roading. I hiked. I learned to love reading. I sang in choirs. I took all kinds of random classes. I painted ceramics. I arranged flowers. I took cake decorating classes. I bought books about art. I studied French. I learned how to change my oil and my brake pads and rotate tires. I became handy when I bought my first house. I went to beauty school and learned how to help people with their skin and apply makeup. I got certified in scuba diving. I moved to Hawaii for a couple of months. I discovered photography. I learned to enjoy running. I discovered a love of writing in college and rediscovered it through this blog. And I still do a lot of these things. And that isn’t the end of the things I’d like to learn to do.

I want to learn at least one more language. I want to take some kind of music lessons (violin? guitar?). I want to go to culinary school. I sometimes think about getting a PhD (once the loans are all paid off, of course). I want to take a watercolor class. I would love to start rock climbing.

My point? I seriously love learning, but I never become really good at anything. Sure, I have some skills and I’m better at some things than I am at others, but I just can’t be bothered to become an expert in anyone thing. I couldn’t even be bothered to get really good grades when I was perfectly capable of doing so.

For a long time this really bugged me. I wanted to be really good at something. I finally got over that when I realized that becoming an expert in any one thing would likely mean sacrificing the other things that I love. It’s funny how there just really is no life without sacrifice. And so I’ve learned to be okay with my mediocrity (okay, I don’t think I’m mediocre in everything, but you get my point). And I figured out a career path that would allow me to continue to do all of the things I love doing (meaning, something I enjoy enough, doesn’t take over my life, and earns a good income). I admire people who love one thing so much that they can sacrifice everything else to do that. That is not me.

On Sunday night, when my girlfriends were over for our little makeup night, Maria asked me if I had taken this picture of the Conservatory Garden I have hanging on my wall. I replied that I had. After which Jenn stated that one of her favorite things about me is how multi-talented I am. This made me smile. Apparently the one thing I am really good at is collecting talents…even if I’m not the best at any one of them and even if I never will be because I don’t have time.

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