Friday, September 16, 2005
Boy am I threatened by it, knee-buckled by it, roiling with envy at it. For some reason I believe it is what I am to be. And I know it is what I am not. As exceptional as I might be. One in a hundred is not one in a million. It upsets me. I've had to come to terms with and let go of several juvenile fantasies later in life than you might expect.
1. I will be neither Air Force pilot nor astronaut
2. I will not play professional baseball
3. I am not now and will not suddenly become a genius
I don't know why this should be so hard to accept. It's not as if geniuses are renowned for being especially happy. And that's if they happen to be renowned. If we're to believe the wisdom of our culture, there are many more geniuses, toiling in obscurity, unrecognized as the prophets they are, and brimming with vitriol at not being renowned. Even renown is known to be a generally unhappy experience.
When I nurtured this fantasy of genius, that things did not come easily was a constant frustration. So not much came at all. Now I understand I have to work (some things can be slow in coming to a self-presumed genius), which has been a surprisingly satisfying experience.
So, no Grand Unified Theories, no As I Lay Dying, no OK Computer from me.
I am not endorsing mediocrity, but an understanding that perfection is unattainable, and even undesirable.