I’m pretty decent at hackysack, and I know some interesting tricks. I’ve been playing soccer since I was a little kid and picked up hackysack in highschool. I enjoy it in some ways, but it brings out a side of me that I don’t entirely like. Hackysack isn’t exactly a competitive sport (although there are competitions). Even so, it allows for ample showing off. I can show off because I’m usually better than those I’m hacking with which doesn’t mean much since most people don’t attempt to be very good at it. Most people just sort of kick back and forth. I love the challenge of figuring out a trick, but I dislike the feeling of showing off. I don’t know why that is.
Anyways, it got me thinking about talents. I have many talents, but I don’t do much with most of them. If I had taken hackysack more seriously when younger and had met more talented hackysackers to learn from, I could’ve been really great at it… but to what end? In the past, I’ve spent endless hours simply repeating a trick to get it down just right… but its not a highly valued ability in our society. 🙂
I quit soccer in 11th grade because I didn’t see the point. I was a very fast runner when a kid, but I was never great at soccer. I had some natural talent, but never practiced much. In order to be really good at something, you have to spend enormous amounts of time doing it. And I’m not that competitive and I can’t say I’ve ever been a driven sort of person. I was always a team player, but I didn’t really care if my team won. And maybe that was a good thing as I was always on losing teams. When a little kid, soccer was the game everyone played and I just enjoyed running around as kids do. But sports become more serious as you grow older, especially in highschool.
Overall, I’ve never been a motivated person and partly that has to do with my not liking school. Only once in my life did I have an inspiring teacher that actually brought out the best in me. He was an art teacher. I had always taken art classes and enjoyed them, but this teacher was a really great teacher that encouraged innovation. He was the first person who taught me to think outside of the box. I took art classes later on in college, but I never did as good of work as I did in that highschool class. Unfortunately, I never felt inspired when not in the presence of that teacher. Art was something I was good at, but it just didn’t capture my attention. Just too much work and for whatever reason I never envisioned myself as an artist.
The talent I ended up focusing on is writing which isn’t something I cared about when younger. I liked reading fiction somewhat growing up, but I was never obsessed with reading. There was one thing that foretold my future. My childhood bestfriend and I would tell collaborative stories. In highschool, I started journalling very seriously and in later highschool became very interested in reading books with deep themes, both fiction and non-fiction. But I can’t say I thought of being a writer at that time. I really had no ambitions other than to understand life… which I’m still working on.
At this time, I had fallen into severe depression but hadn’t yet recognized it as such. My truly obsessive nature began to show itself at this point. I just wouldn’t let these questions go. There had to be some kind of answer somewhere, but apparently older people were as clueless as me. I found that a bit disheartening. Back then, I actually still held the belief that with age came wisdom, but I came to realize most adults were even ignorant of the questions. At least, my dad was always very honest about the limits of his understanding. I like honesty.
I definitely had become more obsessed with non-fiction than with fiction, but I found few writers who actually inspired me. Inspiration is a big thing for me. I’ve always sought inspiration to counteract my apathetic nature. By looking for inspiration, I was looking for my own inner motivation that tends to get lost with the years of conformity training that one gets in school. I’m still looking for this inner motivation thingie, and I occasionally hit upon an ephemeral essence that feels true. Give me another few decades and I think I’ll have it figured out.
Anyways, I’ve slowly realized that non-fiction for the most part isn’t what inspires me. I’m inspired by imagination which is most often found in fiction. On the other hand, fiction often lacks the depth of ideas that can be found in non-fiction. What is a boy to do? (Read Philip K. Dick is what. lol)
Okay, back to my life story. I returned to my childhood home after highschool and reconnected with the aforementioned childhood bestfriend. He also had become interested in writing, and so two aspiring writers were we. This is when I started to take writing seriously and specifically writing fiction (because my friend was mostly into fiction).
So, after 20 years of my life, I finally found a talent that I cared about. Unfortunately, it may seem, I found this talent at a time of my deepest depression…. not exactly a time of consistent motivation.
Over the last 10 or so years, I’ve slowly become more focused but its a struggle. The internet has helped me to gain focus as online communities such as this give me the opportunity to play around with my writing. I’m presently trying to get my mind back into fiction. I even have a story I’m working on right now.
There ya go. I could’ve been many things…
…but a writer is what I became.