My whole life I’ve heard people say “If I only had your (blank) I would do this or I would be that.” I know it is suppose to be a compliment. It’s just after hearing this statement in so many different ways, for so many years I am starting to think I am just one big disappointment!! The other statement is “You have such potential, don’t waste it!”
Let me start out with how I look. I’m 6’2” (and ugly as hell. In fact, I almost take pride in how ugly I really am, but I digress) and I can’t count the number of times I had shorter people tell me that if they had my build, they would work out everyday and be huge. I don’t know if this is their way of complimenting me on my size, or if they are just letting me know how lazy I really am. Then there is my hair, ever since I can remember I have had the curliest hair in the world. During my teenage years I tried to grow it long. The main problem is, it would only grow out, not down. I would jump into a pool and come out with beads of water on my hair(and I am not joking). Black people would tell me I had some nappy-ass hair. Yes, I had the ultra Afro!! With that being said, I still had women telling me they would pay a fortune to have hair as curly as mine. Now, they wouldn’t go out with me, but they did want my hair. I guess it was their way of saying “hey your ugly, but I do like that curly hair.” I guess it is just human instinct to try to find the best in people. Also, I realized it was always older women telling me this. They didn’t have to worry about me asking them out. Believe me, I learned quick that when people are trying to point out your “good qualities,” it really means you are ugly as hell and they are just trying to boost your confidence. Otherwise, they would be saying things like “Wow, I’ll bet the lady’s line up to get at you” or “I’ll bet your fighting them off day and night.” You know, for some strange reason, I have never heard those words….Well, unless I’m standing next to someone else. Which is what made me realize. The comments directed at me were mercy compliments.
Now the compliments that I did always get that were sincere were the ones about my talents. The only problem was, once again, I never seem to live up to my potential!! I don’t think I could even try to count the number of times I heard “If I had your talent, I would be (blank).”
I think school was the worse, and don’t get me wrong, I will be the first to admit I was completely to blame. I mean, I got really good grades, I just thought I knew everything and was too good for school. It was really boring for me, I never did homework, but always came up with a way to get around the system. If I put as much energy into actual doing my work, as I put into getting away with not working, I would have had a 4.0 GPA. The biggest complaint I got during school was, other kids need to learn, not everyone picks this stuff up as easy as you do. I even had one teacher that kicked me out for the last semester because I was such a “class clown.” She told me to just come back in an take the final(thinking I would fail) and that would be my grade. She even called me the night before the test to remind me not to miss it. I took the test, and then stood there and watched her grade it. She had the biggest look of disappointment on her face when she had to write that 92 on my paper, but a deal is a deal. Now, when it came to English, I had the worst grammar and my spelling is horrible(thank God for spellcheck), but I can write stories and poetry all day long. So, if my grades started slipping a little bit, I would just ask them to look at my writings and tell me what they thought about them. A little extra credit never hurt. Especially writing things that you knew they were completely into(even if you weren’t).
Even in my last year(which was 11th grade) they wouldn’t let me drop out. I actually had to go out of my way to get kick out. Which took a lot of work, but those stories are pretty funny. I was a trouble maker, but I was never violent or completely disrespectful about it. Then again, my second to last act was pouring milk over a couple of kids in the hallway and when they busted me, I just put on a grin, paused a minute…..and said “I don’t know why you all are crying over a little spilled milk.” I must say, even the people in the office were trying not to laugh. It was wrong and let me just state, I was not a bully, it was just a spur of the minute thing that happened.
My final act was in Art class and it was a little bit raunchier, but no one got anything on them. Let me just insert here that I use to always joke with the kids in that class, because most of them were really “pure” people(if you know what I am saying). You could just tell that a few of them were very protected and wholesome. So anyways, my friend took out a condom blew it up and let it go. So I grabbed it, went to the sink and filled it up with water. I turned around with it dangling in front of my crotch and yelled out “Anyone ever seen one of these” wiggle, wiggle, wiggle. My teacher was laughing, but grabbed me up and hauled me off to the Administrators office, I think she thought I actually pulled it out, but I wasn’t going to correct her. That was it, I finally got what I wanted….I was out!!!
I know I have gone off topic like always, but let me just say, I paid for those mistakes. I got my G.E.D and my associates degree in Computer Tech. which took a lot of work, but I got like a 3.5 G.P.A. It would have been higher, but I got sick and made up a bunch of tests which I could only get a “Passing” grade on and it brought my G.P.A. way down, I should have just dropped the classes and started over!!
I guess the whole point of this blog is me trying to figure out if I should have realize a long time ago that all these people telling me I need to live up to my potential is their way of telling me I am just a lazy piece of shit. I guess they don’t realize that with all this potential there is a downside. I mean look at most of the great writers and philosophers, most of them were really messed up. There is a fine line between greatness and insanity. Maybe one day I will know which category I fall into. To be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way!!!