Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Oh yeah, I'm a Gen X'er

So let it be known that I am a quintessential slacker. For all my snarky-ness, I am a very typical type B personality. Apparently I began life as a small whirlwind, but then somehow downgraded myself to a faintly wafting breeze. Not even strong enough to move your hair if you've got some hairspray in it.

My parents tell me tales of me swinging myself headfirst over the bars of my crib. I had to wear a brace for the first two years of my life (which I don't remember in any way) and I would grab the sides of the crib and use my braces as leverage to swing myself upside-down and over. I must have had quite a talent for it, because I did it to get into cars as well, as long as the window was down. This was the 70's, so the cars were much, much tinier than what we have today, which is why I was able to reach up to the windows. Today I would definitely be earthbound no matter how hard I tried.

I don't know what happened, but by the time I hit grade school, I was your typical underachiever. I did just enough to get good grades, but I never made school a huge priority in my life until my last year of college, which must constitute one of the longest periods of unbroken laziness in history.

Compare that to my sister. Family lore states that my sister was talking in complete sentences at 10 months. Paragraphs at 15 months. She was reading simple words by age 3. My parents must have thought they had a genius on their hands, and indeed they did, as my sister is a member of Mensa. My sister went on to AP classes, Valedictorian, Presidential Scholarships, and magna cum laude. My mother pushed her to be a doctor or a lawyer.

Then there came little average me. I am sure I was a huge disappointment, my language skills came nowhere near that of my sister's and so academic achievement was not necessarily expected to be my strong suit. I was encouraged to read a lot and do my homework, but if I got a B it was not considered the end of the world. I got into AP classes in high school but did the least amount of work possible. Fortunately, my parents were distracted with my sister, and I got off easy. I was better at sports than my sister, so that is the arena I was pushed the most. But, I was a slacker there too, never being the fastest, or the highest jumper, or the best batter. My mother thought I might be a teacher, or maybe she saw me flipping burgers, I'm really not sure.

I will never know if it is simple genetics that made me not care about being on top of the world, or if my family's expectations had any role to play. Perhaps it was a combination of both. I consider my self a jack of many trades, but master of none. There is no one skill that I can point out about myself and say, hey, I am better than probably 90% of the population. Sometimes I envy those that possess these singular skills, the Yo-Yo Mas and Michael Jordans of the world. Then I think that they must have had to practice quite a bit to acheive their status, it just didn't come to them in the middle of the night when they were 12. That is when I just sigh and briefly contemplate my normality, it is just too much effort to think about it for too long.


Mel said...

Great post. :)

Anvilcloud said...

The last part resonates with me as I am a plodder: do lots of things passably but nothing really well. But I'm very sincere. lol