I read a description of myself today on Facebook. All I had to do was enter my name and gender, and this game had me completely figured out! Except that it was all wrong. According to this diginitized-magazine-self-help-test, I am that all powerful, always right, never had to try hard at anything person. In truth, I am usually wrong, very powerless, and always have to work my butt off because I have few talents person. And that’s fine by me.

When I competed in roller skating as a child, I had zero natural gift for it, and could just barely keep my feet under me the first…oh…3 months or so of trying. I remember bandaging the blisters on my feet, and my mom’s face when she would happen upon all of those bruises stretched across my thighs from slapping the freshly polyurethened floor one too many times. Every time, she would ask ‘Are you ready to quit?’, but the answers would always be ‘No way’.

Until that one day when my ‘no way’ changed to ‘okay’, but only because I had completely dissapointed myself by dropping my foot at regionals after training all summer, and then also finding out that my coaches were moving out of state. I felt like I wasn’t really quitting skating, but that skating had quit me.

Sometimes that ‘want’ we have to achieve something outreaches, outweighs, and outlasts our capabilities. I ‘want’ to write a novel, but I can’t force the idea. Neither could J.K. Rowling. Maybe I’ll never find my Harry Potter. Maybe I will. Either way, I’m nowhere near that person who is good at everything, and I’m truly grateful for that. I think that we ‘losers’ have an edge that natural born ‘winners’ do not. We are not afraid of failing. Rather, we learn how to fail gracefully, because…we gain in character what we lose in life.


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