I used to think of myself as being highly intelligent. Then I met the real world.
Growing up I was always one of the "smart" kids in class. I pretty much made straight A’s in school and could compete with the other smart kids with no problem. There were a few I met along that way that were smarter than me and that was fine as long as I wasn’t too far behind.
My parents always encouraged me in school and always expected me to do my best. I loved art and music, but I didn’t excell in those subjects. I was never artsy enough to hang with the artsy fartsy crowd and even though I loved music (and my instructors always said I had a natural talent for it) the clarinet I played wasn’t exactly going to get me anywhere in the world of rock and roll so I focused on the books.
It didn’t take a lot of effort for me to get good grades. I went to class. I did the homework. I studied only for the most difficult tests and flew through the easy ones without needing to study. I always thought that I was really intelligent and that someday I would grow up to do something amazing with my life. I thought that because that is what everybody always told me.
When I got out into the real world, my whole perspective on life changed. Amazingly enough there were people out that that were a whole heck of a lot smarter than me and some of them didn’t even have a high school education. As it turns out, education doesn’t make you smart.
The more and more I explore this world (mostly via the internet) I find that I really know very little. I have come across so many very intelligent people. There are so many who can say the same things I am thinking but in a much more coherent way. There are people who have experienced more and pondered more deeply than I could ever imagine.
Sometimes when I sit down to write a blog post I question my abilities. I don’t see myself as a great writer. I often have difficulties finding the right words and sentence structure to get my point across. When I go back and read my thoughts on the computer screen I feel like it should be better, like I should be able to make it better. Then I have to remind myself that this is me. I am what I am. I just can’t help but be envious of those that are better than me, that have really made something of themselves.
The hardest part of all of this is that I know I could have made something of myself. I could have applied myself better. I could have finished my Master’s degree. I could have had a fantastic job doing something that I love. Somewhere along the way I lost my spirit. I lost my confidence. Somewhere along the way I just gave up. I let the world push me down and make me feel like I wasn’t good enough and I got stuck there.