I’m an average person. Average of intellect, of talent, of ability, of height, of weight, of most things. Any exceptionalism I command has been earned, the hard way. What I lack in unique gifts, I make up for in hard headed-ness as my mother calls it. I once had a boyfriend refer to me as a bulldog. Very romantic. He didn’t last long after that comment.
Back then I was tone deaf to the impact my striving would have on those around me. As my self awareness grew, I realized that more often than not people (particularly my own kind) aren’t rooting for your success and they just might be not so secretly hoping for the opposite, ready for you to flubber. Many watch, waiting, so they can have mocked faces of disappointment, ripe with their armchair wisdom. Others don’t bother to hide their glee at your misstep. I prefer the latter. There’s some honesty in owning your shitty-ness straight up.
Either way all of them belong in the dumpster. Trying is the singular thing any of us can do. We can try. Try to read more, learn more, be kinder, help, reach out, work harder, aspire to be the best even if we fail, champion for those who are aspiring next to us. You’ll find many false cheerleaders out there with their surface level cotton candy investment and inspiration.
But you will also find, as I have found, true advocates. The ones who pull you aside and say hey let me help you, maybe teach you some of what I know. My first job in NYC a lady (platinum blond, looked like Barbie, alarm bells going of in my head as she befriended me) was the one who taught me to put aside the bitchy reverie of my sex and quit with the easy judgments.
She was one of the kindest, most supportive, encouraging women I’ve known. And I was leery of her for no other reason than pure cosmetics. That and the unspoken laws of the mean girl code, which by the way is usually employed most cunningly and cruelly by those crying out the loudest against it.
Fight for your gifts even if those gifts are humble and require lots of work to make them shine. There’s nothing wrong with the try, the effort. And don’t ever apologize for them or working to make them better.
We’ve all heard it 99% perspiration 1% inspiration. It is.