laugh a little

Try turning your head to the side. Say you’re looking left, across the street, over your shoulder. Maybe there’s a cute little girl in pigtails licking a lollipop, or a small dog, or, here in Clear Water Bay, a bronzed old man with gap-toothed grin harvesting his garden.

Now walk full speed ahead. Into a 35-foot cement telephone pole.

Now tell me how you feel.

I’ll tell you how I felt: pretty dumb. And a little embarrassed. (Thankfully, Mr. Gap-tooth was the only one around.)

Truth be told, I’m a klutz. I have been all my life. In high school sports, I was known for dropping the ball, missing the pass, and losing the goal. (One of the many reasons I now prefer individual sports.) I was also quite likely to trip over nothing, drop things, and knock over my water bottle. My longtime girl friends have never let me forget the time when, in about the fourth grade, I spilled chocolate milk all over my pink sweatshirt and white pants. I was mortified.

It’s a reputation I had hoped to outlive, but one which seems likely to follow me all of my days. Despite my best attempts, my mind seems to wander far from my body while doing almost everything. (Even now, as I type, and as I want desperately to focus so I can get something written, all I can think about is everything else I should be doing.)

The good thing, though, is that—somehow—I am coming to accept this flaw. So I drop things. So I’m not the most observant of people. So what? What’s your point?

We all have strengths and weaknesses. The key to success (and sanity) is to hone in on what you’re good at, and be able to laugh at yourself for what you’re not.

At least that’s what I keep telling myself. (And you, Mr. Gap-tooth. I see you laughing at me!)

8 thoughts

  1. Jessica you make me smile. More later. And keep writing. There is nothing more important that you should be doing.

  2. *I* think decent writers entertain while good writers inspire; the best ones are able to do both. This entry left me not only inspired but a smile on my face.

    As I once said, I believe writing is your calling. You are one of the few people, of whom most are published writers, whose writing can leave a strong impression on me.

    You are a true writer in your own right. Confront the perfectionist in you head on and start writing more.

  3. is that the pole? if so, in your defense, that is a huge pole in the middle of the sidewalk where people are supposed to walk!

    • Haha, Lawrence. No, that’s not the pole. But, in my defense, the pole looks almost exactly like and is in almost exactly the same spot in the middle of a sidewalk like this one!

  4. I feel the klutz thing. During my “theater student” phase, I decided–for some unknown reason–to try out for a musical the school was putting on, based on a swing dance competition. After several discouraging rehearsals, my partner (who I was dating at the time) told me she wanted a new partner. Something about five left feet…

    By the way, I need to read some of your older stuff. It’s good.:o)

    • I’ve never tried to learn dancing — for the same reason. (Well, it was kind of a “no no” in the religion in which I grew up, too, but…) But I *have* thought in recent years that it’d be fun to at least try! (If I don’t mind making a fool of myself, haha.)

      And, gulp! if you’re interested in reading my older stuff. Some of it is okay, but I feel my writing has definitely been improving as I’ve been writing this blog… But thank you! I appreciate it! :)

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