As I get older, I start to see what I’m good at, and more importantly, what I’m not good at. What is that Neal Stephenson quote? “Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, and devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad.”
Until my late 20s, I thought I could do anything, and I thought I was pretty good at quite a few things. Now that I’m older and wiser, I keep running into things I’m not good at. It’s not a bad thing – I really should focus only on what I like or what I’m good at. Trying to do something I don’t like or won’t be able to do is just wasted energy. Sure, there’s always the “you can do anything!” argument. But there are limits to that. It is possible that I could be President one day. It is almost certainly not possible that I will be an Olympic gymnast. So, anyway, what brought all this up? I like writing. I think I’m fairly decent at writing. However, I’m a very black-and-white thinker, and am not good at making up fun things. My brother and my wife are both very good at being creative. I’m better at planning roads or writing procedures for something. That might sound boring to you, but I like it.
So, I recently clicked on an article and thought the comic at the top was really fun. You can look at it here. Don’t worry, I’ll be here. Go look.
Back now? OK. There’s a guy on a jetpack! And people tut tutting! It’s so cute. It’s not a Monet or anything, but it gets the point across quickly, easily, and funnily. (Hmm WordPress didn’t underline funnily. That might actually be a word!). I am not able to do that. I can take some raw data and easily make a nice graph that gets a point across. But a comic? Even if I could draw, I just don’t have the creative brain to come up with *what* I would draw. I just am not that type of creative.
So what have you learned that you can’t do, and are you OK with this?
(Side note: I am hoping to sharpen my writing skills, which means writing often, which is why I have this blog. This article was conceived and written up in about five minutes, because I have to get to bed. I have a real job, sadly. So if this smacks more of “stream of consciousness” instead of “nicely written article”, that’s why. I’m writing every day, even if it’s not the best work. Thanks for bearing with me.)