I had a sudden thought today and it’s hit me like a lightning bolt. I was sitting at my desk lamenting the fact that I don’t seem to have as much ambition and drive as those that inspire me. It comes in fits and starts and then as quickly fades away. This lack of ambition has led to me pursuing and holding jobs that I don’t love, and is currently derailing my plans to start my own NTP practice.
When I finished school, I was so full of energy and big plans. I even rearranged my 9-5 schedule so that I could have a weekday off to focus on those things. Needless to say, I haven’t really starting working on getting my NTP career going…oops.
But most of the time, starting isn’t a problem. I usually start things, but once I get going I usually put in the minimal amount of effort needed to get by and rarely strive for excellence. This leaves me feeling…unfulfilled and just a bit yucky.
I look at my friends who have gone after what they loved and done amazing things. Why not me? (Pity, part of 1)
Then today it hit me. I was, admittedly, in the moment slightly jealous of someone who was being assigned things I thought I should be doing (even though the decision was completely logical). Why don’t I get to do that? Why them?
That’s when the lightning struck. Now, it’s just a theory, but it’s one that makes a lot of sense.
In elementary school, I was a high achiever. Best grades in the class, always raised my hand when the teacher asked a question. Went above and beyond. What did I get for my efforts?
Bullied. Picked on. Made fun of.
Kids can be cruel…and stupid. I was teased, called names, and generally shunned for being smart. (Where do kids learn this? What is happening to our society when intelligence is no longer appreciated?)
I remember a high school history class. Mr. Burke. He was my absolute favorite teacher. He was tough, but had great stories and expected a lot out of his students. He always wore Teva sandals and had crazy toe nails.
Anyway, one day Mr. Burke asked a student a question. She didn’t know the answer. I did, but didn’t speak up. Mr. Burke proceeded to go to each student individually and ask them the same question. He finally got to me, and I gave him the answer he was looking for. “You knew that the whole time, didn’t you?” I mumbled something that sounded like yes. He wasn’t too happy that I hadn’t spoken up.
Why didn’t I just say the answer? Oh yeah, because I didn’t want to look like I was smart or anything. Heaven forbid that I come off as knowing anything about anything.
Guess I was taught by my peers at a young age that trying led to being made fun of.
Since then, I’ve half-assed just about everything I’ve done. College, AmeriCorps, graduate school, NTP training (less so on this one, but definitely could have put in more effort), my current job.
It’s time to let that mindset go. Why not strive to be the smartest, best whatever I can be? And if the Kristina Langleys and Angela Hickmans (yes I remember their names…very well) don’t like…well I don’t really give a flying fig what they think.
Ok, now that I’ve decided not to half-ass my life, I should probably get back to work instead of writing blog posts 🙂