I can remember the day I began to hate math. I was in 1st grade, it was the beginning of the school year. I couldn’t grasp place value. Everyone tried explaining it to me. My Mom, older sister and finally my Dad tried. I just couldn’t understand it. It was too concrete. I remember thinking about how I hated math and would always hate it. And for the next 10 years of my life I did.
I remember the day I began to think I was dumb as a rock. I was in 3rd grade, 8 years old. School was so hard, I was never nearly as clever as my older sister who was good at EVERYTHING. I know a lot of people say that about older sisters, but my older sister was way better than all your older sisters! In 5th grade, she was at the spelling level of a 12th grader. I mean, she was bright, just caught onto stuff in seconds. And so I figured that since I wasn’t as smart as her, I wasn’t smart. It didn’t matter that I had the vocabulary of a college professor or better reading comprehension than most adults could ever hope to have, I wasn’t good at school so I concluded I was stupid. And it stayed that way for the next 9 years of my life until this past Fall when I saw my I.Q score read: 124. I realized that the reason I couldn’t grasp things wasn’t because it was too hard, but too simple. And I wasn’t dumb, but abnormally smart.
I remember the day I stopped writing poetry. I’m not sure I’d even call it poetry. But when I was 10, I was learning about poetry in school and my assignment was to write a poem. So I did. It was terrible but I loved writing it. And I kept on writing more terrible poems but I enjoyed doing it so I continued. Finally, I grew frustrated with my lack of talent. Figured there was no point if I couldn’t be good at it right away. So I quit. And it stayed that way for the next 6 years of my life until last spring when I decided to try poetry again.
I remember the day I gave up on drawing. I was 11 and was going through that “I love horses!” phase that I’m pretty sure every preteen girl goes through. Don’t deny it. You also dreamed of riding the horse of your dreams through fields of wildflowers…..
Anyways, my uncle who knew of my horse obsession, bought me a drawing kit and a guide on how to draw horses. If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know by now that I’m an all or nothing type of gal and with drawing, I made no exceptions! I bought the supplies, read the books, practiced….but I sucked. I mean I was TERRIBLE at drawing. The horses and everything else I drew looked like the stuff of nightmares. So I packed away my drawing supplies, put down the pencil, and accepted that I was never going to be good at drawing. And for 6 years I did.
But what I can’t remember is when and why I believed that who I was at the time was who I was going to be forever. I cannot remember the day I decided to accept mediocrity. I cannot remember when I decided that there was a list of things out there that were simply impossible for me to do. I do not know the day I gave up on myself. I cannot recall the hour I began to shrink myself into the binding ropes of expectations.
I’ve learned something about myself. It began to come to the surface when I began to rethink my hatred of mathematics. It continued to drift upward as I began writing poetry and read all the sweet comments that people leave under every Instagram post. The realization crept upon my conscious as I easily grasped the abstract concepts of Physics.
And finally it has emerged to the surface as I now embark on the hobby of drawing.
I am impatient.
I am impatient with myself and all my shortcomings. I want to be amazing now. I want to be a popular poet now. I want to be an amazing artist now. I want to be compassionate, I want to overflow with kindness. I want to transcend my fears and see the world. I want to change the world, touch peoples’ lives. I want to be strong and brave and beyond clever. I want to be strong in my faith and also strong in mind. There is so much I want to be and sometimes I get a glimpse of the woman I want to be in the way I write my words and the way I smile. I see her in the way I carry myself on some days and how I speak to others.
But all I see are mere glimpses, just a shadow of the great woman I want to be. I am impatient and I want all that now. And that is my Achilles heel. I do not know how to do things small.
I do not know how to start small, but I will.
I am not a great poet, but I will be.
I am not a genius, but someday I will be.
I am not an amazing artist, but I am going to be amazing.
I am not a thing of legends, but someday I will.
And I’ve realized that if we tell ourselves these things every time we falter, then nothing can keep us down. We are invincible merely by believing that anything is possible. God did not say that only certain things are possible but that everything is possible with him.
Do not give up.
The day will come when your perseverance pays off, and you WILL be amazing.