Thursday, September 5, 2013

Something to learn

Never believe for a moment, not one second, you know everything. We pretend we're experts a lot of times, but we're not. The most we can aspire to is to be an authority on any given subject. Another person may know as much as you, perhaps more. Maybe they know a different point of  view. where you are an expert at ABCDEF, they may know DEFGHI.
In all my people watching, I witness brilliant people getting the brush off. To be fair, they allow themselves to be put to the side. There is a guy I know who bags groceries at our supermarket. I've seen him at a few cons and game stores. We've spoken to one another several times. He's a likeable fellow. One time he had his beard tied together with a rubber band, so I did the natural thing: I started calling him 'Captain Lou' after the wrestler, Captain Lou Albano. He stopped wearing the rubber band after that. 
One day not too long ago, I found out this guy was tutoring college students in calculus. What I couldn't wrap my head around was this: here's an obviously smart guy, who doesn't drive, doesn't have a lot of things. (On several occasions I wondered if he owns a comb or brush.) Now my sister will roll her eyes. I'm no fashion authority, but I have standards. They're low, but they are there. Moving on...
If you are smart or talented, shouldn't you be able to hold down a job worthy of your skills? A while back I heard about the math genius working at Subway. I talked about not finding a job in your chosen field and taking a lesser job to pay the rent. Now what about my friend, Captain Lou? I stopped him in the parking lot and asked him this. Why isn't he doing something he's clearly qualified to do? His answer was both cryptic and insightful. He said he had a lot of issues to work on. That could be anything from confidence to depression. It brought up another facet to consider: You have to want something bad enough. With most people, they have a desire or passion to be what they want to be. Others may want thier life to be a certain way, but don't want to work at it, or they're afraid of change. With a little reluctance I admit to being in a third category. Hating enough to change.
There are parts of my life I hate. That's a word I don't throw around much. When I waited tables, I did it because I needed the money and I was sorta good at it. Also, I considered it legalized begging. This is not to say all parts of my life suck. Parts of my life are pretty good. Certain facets suck a little less. Then there are the things that make me so miserable that I have to change them or lose myself in the process.
The trick is not to let the sucky things take over your life. When a pointy haired boss starts coming down on me, there is a little sliver of human inside of me saying;'I've got a secret and you can't crush it.' I relish the time I have when I'm working on writing. When I was hustling down at the convention, it felt right. Going into a room (in Mr. Confidence mode, no less.) and eventually sitting one chair away from the agent I wanted to meet, then actually talking to him afterwards and hopefully impressing him. That was me in my element. All the synapses in my right hemisphere were firing. I didn't care about food or water, my mental list checked off things I needed to do, and boy did I need to do them. So what's the difference between me and Captain Lou?
I want it, and I'm willing to work for it.

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