The Natural

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica On 4:46 PM
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Is there something you're good at that you haven't ever practiced ... you're just a "natural?" Considering that you're one of my highly intelligent and discerning readers, the answer is probably yes.

A long, long time ago I took a job in Detroit, Michigan, writing entries for reference books. This was the era when quality was more important than quantity, and fair market value was prized. Therefore the reference book company trained large staffs of people to write really, really good entries.

The training process was long. Some of the people I worked with had been there for over a year, and they were still trainees. As for me, I found the training process to be a little bit slow. Especially where the prose writing was concerned. So one day, when I was choosing entries to update, I took one that needed a good prose essay. I wrote it. I turned it in with my "beginner" batch.

A day later, my supervisor asked me into the office. I thought, "Uh oh. Overstepped the boundaries."

She asked me to sit down. Then she told me I was being given a raise and a promotion. "You are a natural at this," she said. "We'll save a lot of money on your training, so we're giving some of it to you."

(To all readers under 30 -- yes, you just have to trust me, this sort of thing actually did happen in the business world in the early 1980s. It was a quick downhill ride for all of us after that.)

I am remembering that day on this one, 25 years later, because now I'm in a new profession. I am not a "natural" at this profession.

My supervisors in this new endeavor have decided that I need to be trained more in order to do this job. I'm grateful that they even want to give me the chance.

It's wonderful if life paves the way for you to be a "natural" at something and make a living at it. But that doesn't always happen. I believe that my current employment is serving the higher purpose of pricking my inflated ego and showing me that there are some things I can't do very well.

There are two ways to deal with doing something for which you have no real natural talent:

1. Suck it up, learn what you need to learn, and try your best, being aware that your best may not be good enough.

2. Weep and moan that life isn't fair because you can't do what you love.

OH, WOE IS ME! OH, PITY POOR ANNE! WHY DID MY LIFE TAKE THIS HORRIBLE TURN? I'M DROWNING IN A SEA OF BROKEN DREAMS, SHATTERED ILLUSIONS, AND DESPAIR! I'M SO MISUNDERSTOOD! WHY CAN'T I DO WHAT COMES NATURAL TO ME?????

Naah. Whining is for losers. Back to the drawing board I go.

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