Well maybe not the END of the road since there’s still a lot of road to go. But it’s definitely a “T” in the road.
As far back as I can remember I have struggled with the thought that I have no talent. To me that thought was a fact. There was nothing I excelled at. Nothing special that made me stand out from anyone else. I was just an ordinary girl who grew into an ordinary woman. I was so ordinary that the boy I had a crush on in 5th grade banged my head down on the table because…well, I think it had something to do with my not copying his spelling words for him. I was so ordinary that in 7th grade I was asked by one of the girls I sat with at lunch to no longer sit with her (and by her she meant the whole table of girls). Okay, those are two of the most horrible memories I have, but there were so many times growing up I felt lonely and unlikable that it shaped who I became as an adult. All those lies you tell yourself to make sense of what is happening around you as a child play into who you become later. And they are LIES. And I had a plethora of them stored up.
When the lies become a personal reality it’s very difficult to reprogram yourself to believe the truth. That’s why I missed so many opportunities to identify what my strengths are. That’s why any hope of finding my talent alluded me. As I’ve said before, being ordinary afforded me a security. As long as I blended in I would be okay. My fear of standing out was based on the fear that people would see my faults just like my crush in 5th grade and my lunch buddy in 7th. It was safer not to stand out from the crowd. When people started showing interest in me I thought I had them fooled somehow. I mean why would they like me so much, I’m nobody special. And the sad part about this is that I know there is a HUGE population of people out there feeling the same way about themselves.
Fast forward to today (that’s a lot of fast forwarding, but I’ll get to the middle of the story some other day). I LIKE MYSELF (insert applause here). I mean REALLY like myself and the woman I’ve become. I couldn’t say that 5 to 10 years ago and be honest at the same time. It’s a good place to be for someone who has always hated feeling ordinary, but resigned herself to it. It’s definitely been a long time coming. And surprisingly enough it has come despite, or possibly because of, a failed marriage (also to be discussed some other day) by which I identified myself for far too long (12 years and 7 months to be exact). How did you get to this point? You might be asking. Well…it’s been the slow realization that I am valuable as a human. That I am loved and I love others. I started focusing on the things I did like about myself and I did a lot of self examination to really learn who I really am. I believe that a majority of insecurities have to do with not really knowing your identity. Instead we allow what our perception of what others think about us define who we are. (Whoa that was a mouth full.) Don’t get me wrong, there are still times I have to tell the lies to shut up and remind them of my value, but reprogramming can take time and I am working on having the patience to see it through.
As far as finding my talent and what makes me stand out…I have sent out a search party. In the meantime, I know this: I am good at many things and this in itself can be a talent. Not to mention I have a strong desire to help others achieve their goals and I’ve been told I’m pretty darn good at it. (While I try not to rely on what others think of me, it can be a good measurement tool when trying to determine talent.) So this brings me to the “T” in the road, and while I wait for the search party results I’ll focus on being unforgettably ordinary.