Dreaming of Greatness

When I was a kid, I used to desperately hope that someday I would be discovered to be some sort of prodigy or that I had some deep innate talent at something. Maybe one day I’d open my mouth and would have a shatteringly lovely singing voice, instead of one that made the church choir director’s eyebrows twitch unpleasantly every time I foolishly auditioned for a solo in the Christmas pagent. Or, even better, one day someone would kick me a soccer ball and it would turn out that I wasn’t just a chubby kid in glasses, I was a chubby kid in glasses that was the second coming of Pele.

I would gladly have settle for just winning the spelling bee or discovering I was a really good dancer.

But I never did. I never was magically talented at anything. I was a better than average swimmer in high school, but never a star and I had to work twice as hard as anyone else on the team to get to better than average. I did well in school but I was never the smartest in the room. I had friends but was never popular, was cute but never beautiful.

Even now I still sometimes hope to discover I am amazing at something and that success would just find me without me having to chase it down and hold on tightly.

I wonder if we are all like that? Is part of becoming an adult learning to accept that we’ll never be child prodigies, learning to accept that we are maybe just destined for ordinary things?

(I don’t mean that as a knock against ordinary things, not really. Real, ordinary life is amazing and hard and beautiful all on its own)

(I just always kind of thought that maybe someday I’d be exceptional in some way)


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