Getting it together: the remix

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Getting it together: the remix

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I don’t know about y’all, but I was one of those kids who was “gifted” in elementary and middle school. Some benefits that giftedness gave me when I got to college: none.

Because I was naturally talented at certain things, I skated through my formative years without ever learning to fail. Instead of failing, I would just avoid doing things I struggled with.

I’m sure we can all relate. While that ability to coast served me fairly well in my first few years of college, it did me a big disservice when things started to get more serious.

Unlike students who actually learned to study, manage time and improve in areas that challenged them during their high school careers, I learned to excel at those skills I already felt confident in.

Thus, while I thought I could accomplish whatever I wanted, I was in for a big wake-up call.

Sometimes in life we have to learn to get good at things that don’t come naturally to us. For me, as you all know, those areas have largely been time management, organizational- and conscientiousness-related.

Because I’m supremely committed to getting my degree, I couldn’t escape the need to improve in those areas. However, it’s hard to admit failure at something that seems to come so easily to others.

How can it be possible that other people can succeed in those basic life areas, but I’m still struggling? It would be easy to give up, admit defeat, and become a hermit-writer with no timelines (and no income).

If I was afraid of failure, that’s what I would do. And that, in and of itself, would be failure.

I was lucky enough to have a placement at a middle school this fall. Middle schools are brimming with inspirational posters about failing, and every day I had to walk past at least three of them.

Fun fact: Good old Abe Lincoln, freer of the slaves and all-around American hero, was the biggest failure there is. This may sound trite (at least, I thought it did when I read that exact poster in 8th grade on the walls of my own school), but now, ten years later, I’ve realized that the only thing stopping me from achieving my goals is myself.

So here’s to positive self talk and a growth mindset. I might not be good at everything right now, but I’m improving all the time. Even if that growth comes later than I want, I am still a valuable person who can accomplish her dreams.

Thus, the cheesiest column I’ve ever written comes to a close. I hope it made you feel good (or, bare-minimum, okay) about yourself.

Because yes, everybody messes up sometimes, but that’s not who we are.

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