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!!!
I must say this topic drives me crazy. In my messed up view, I only perceive success as money. The more money you have, the more successful you are. I don’t know if this has just been burned into my brain or if it really holds true.
I mean look at all the rich people today that didn’t do a thing to deserve it. Does their money make them better people than me? Do they even care if they fail or succeed?
I will admit that money and success usually do go hand in hand. A hard working person usually gets paid one way or another. Now there are a lot of people that go out and volunteer just to help others out. These people are also considered rich, but not monetarily rich, these people are rich at heart. They usually give everything of themselves and ask for nothing in return. Unfortunately, being rich at heart doesn’t pay the bills. Then there is a third kind of person, like my parents. They worked a really good paying 9 to 5 job, 40hrs a week for 25 + yrs, and also went out and volunteered their time all over the place. They had these great lives…That is until I came along and drained them of all their time and money.
Then there are the people like me. I know a lot of people consider me a bum, and to be honest, most of the time I would agree. The truth of the matter is, I might be a bum, but I’m no where near lazy. My biggest problem is being social. If I am given (yes, given, I have no skills at getting jobs or women, which is why I have been single for longer than I can even remember), If I am given a job, I usually am the top worker quick. I have a hard time with failure and rejection, which stops me from going out and trying to get jobs, but once I have the job, people are usually impressed. I am very good at adapting to my environment and a very quick learner. Wow, this is starting to sound like a resume’. It is true though, and even though I am not working a “real” job, I am working non-stop on all kinds of creative stuff everyday, usually all day(and night).
The worst part for me is, I see a lot of successful people, that don’t have half the talent I do, but they do have the drive and dedication to get out there and keep pushing forward. I know I need to stop complaining that I never get any breaks, cause honestly, I never get out there and try to get any breaks.
A big part of me now is striving to get over my hang ups about being rich and famous. I use to always joke about people getting rich off of my stuff when I die, so maybe now I have to start taking that more seriously. I’m not talking suicidal or anything. I think I just need to start looking at success as what my work is and can be instead of what I want it to be. Instead of striving for money, I think it is time to strive for longevity. I want to die with people saying, he might have stumbled and had his problems, but some of his work is down right phenomenal!!!