Saturday, March 7, 2015
March 7th, Slice of Life-- "Yes, I Am Good!"
I didn't mean to write a part 2 to my slice from yesterday, but a conversation I had with my niece when I got home from school Friday keeps coming to mind as I sit to write today.
She loves to draw. I mentioned that already. She's good at it, too, in my opinion, but of course I think she's a shining star in most things.
After thinking a lot of her drawing ability yesterday as I wrote my slice, I found myself watching her draw once again after school. It's been her hobby of choice the last few days.
As we sat together, we talked.
"Wow," I said, "you're drawing again! You must really love to draw!"
"Yeah," she replied, without looking up. Her busy crayons moved ceaselessly.
"Hmm...so, are you a pretty good drawer?" I asked her, mostly curious to hear her response.
Without skipping a beat, she answered me in a matter-of-fact of voice.
"Yes, I'm very good."
"I agree with you!" I chirped back. "I think you're a great artist!"
She didn't look up. The conversation was over to her, but my mind continued to race.
She hadn't even paused for one second to consider the fact that she might not be a good artist. She liked to do it, people told her she was good at it, and she was successful in her own eyes, therefore she must be good. What else do all those things add up to except being awesome?
Three year old logic is the best, isn't it?
I wondered for a moment what she would say if I asked her that same question in 3 years after being surrounded by peers and teachers. What would be her own assessment of her drawing abilities then?
What about in 10 years, as a middle schooler? Would her judgement be clouded by too many past experiences to be so bold?
How about 15 or 20 years from now? I faced reality for a moment. Unless her chosen career path put her in an area that required superb drawing/creative abilities, she probably would answer like most people I know: "I can't draw. I'm not creative." Or even if she chose to draw for a living, perhaps etiquette would have taught her by then that it was more socially acceptable to deflect, or depreciate her own abilities so others didn't view her as cocky, or worse.
Okay, so maybe drawing is a fleeting fancy for her, anyway. Maybe it's not a relevant question in 20 years, but would she be able to answer me in that same tone about something in her life? Would her confidence in her own ability to do something (I hope many things, but at least something...) be enough to say to her Aunt Kay Kay when asked, "Yes, I'm very good at ________!"
I sure hope so. I intend to make sure it is....if I have anything to do with it!
And, you know, the more I think about it today, I hope the same thing for you, too. And for me, for that matter...for all of us. I believe we all have something we're great at, and I hope with all my heart that comparison to our peers, past experiences, and all the "life piled on life" hasn't squashed that little belief in ourselves that says, "Yes, I rock at _________."
Teaching, writing, math, running, parenting...the list could go on. Maybe even drawing!
Hopefully, you know what it is that you rock at, and I challenge you to say it with the tone of a three year old next time someone asks you about it.
Go ahead. We won't judge you for it. Not when it's so much more fun to celebrate it with you!