Okay, I’m back for a bit with this little rant.
A young lady said something weird to me on Sunday at my church’s women’s dinner. We were doing this ice breaker where we had to find people who did certain things, and add their name to our list. An introvert’s nightmare. Well, anyway, this young lady I am acquainted with made this weird comment about me being a “jack of all trades.” It was the way she said it, like “You’re so good at everything.” I don’t think she meant that as a slight (“Jack of all trades. Master of none.”), but you never know with women. Well, look, I’ve acquired quite a few skills over the years. To best of my ability, the things I care about, I perform to excellence. I don’t do things half way–unless it’s card making. I’m definitely not a master at that, although I could be if I put my mind to it.
One can only do a handful of things well. I concentrate on dancing, singing, and sewing. I like to dibble and dabble in other things. There hasn’t been anything, recently, that I care to master. If I did, I would put forth the effort to make it happen. I really wondered what this woman was talking about. She’s uber-talented! She’s an artist. She paints, draws, makes pottery, plays guitar, sings, and leads a home group. I mean, the girl is fierce! Maybe she’s just missing the confidence. (See, this is why we women are in so much bondage, constantly comparing ourselves to one another. But that’s another post.)
For example, when it comes to guitar, I just have not drummed up the wherewithal and discipline to sit down and learn that instrument. I’m thinking of going back to the piano. But there’s no reason for me to feel jealous and insecure because someone else is skilled in playing that instrument or has mastered it. He or she obviously put for the effort to learn that particular skill. They paid the price to be able to do it well. I’ve tried learning a few guitar chords, and believe me, it’s harder than it looks. It hurts your fingers! You have to continue playing through the pain and build up calluses so it doesn’t hurt any more. Honestly, at this point in time, I am not willing to pay the price to learn that instrument. So I can’t be mad/jealous/insecure because someone else is better at it than me. I’ve got other things to focus on, and maybe if my life slows down, I’ll take another stab at it. But I’m not jealous of someone who plays the guitar with skill. I appreciate the pain and the awkwardness an individual had to go through in order to become proficient.
It’s the same way with dance. People compliment me often on my dancing skill, sometimes with a bittersweet wistfulness. Well, I didn’t start yesterday. I’ve been dancing for over twenty years, and I strive to improve my skills. I love it, and I’ve invested a lot of time, effort, sweat, pain, sore muscles, scraped feet, and mental determination to become a good dancer. Not a great dancer, but a good dancer. I was not willing to pay the price to become a great dancer. But most people are not willing to pay the price to even become decent dancers, yet are frustrated when they can’t do basic movements. There is also a level of boldness you have to have as a dancer. You have be confident in your abilities and, at times, be willing to look like a fool. Some people don’t want to look foolish because they care too much about others think of them. These people will always teeter at the edge of mediocrity.
It takes work! It takes determination! Dance, playing an instrument, singing well, being a artist, sewing, etc., is not easy if you want to be any good. There are no short cuts to brilliance. Talent helps, but work, determination, and persistence are what get you over the humps.