Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Jack of all trades, Queen of none

Today I had a bit of a pity party.

I woke up and checked my online writing course only to find that my teacher was thoroughly displeased with my latest assignment. I was crushed. I thought the piece was fantastic and I had had some other writers think it was pretty wonderful as well. But this disappointing feedback really broke my heart.

I guess I thought I was decent at writing. Now writing is just proving to be incredibly difficult. For my instructor, my writing is always 'good', 'nice', 'ok'. But I want it to be 'great' 'fantastic' 'amazing'. I never get those kind of comments from my teacher or peers. I see others getting these praises and even better ones but never me.

This eventually spiralled my thoughts to this: Jack of all trades, Queen of none.

I actually didn't come up with that phrase myself but found it on a blog of one of my peers. This is how I have always been. I have been good at everything. There is not much that I can't do well(maybe with a little time and effort). I was always a really good basketball player, a good citizen, a good student, a good friend.

I have never really excelled in anything though. I have never been GREAT at one particular thing.

I am not sure being great at one thing, and lousy at other things, is better than being good at everything and great at nothing. But part of me just wants to be great...at anything.

As I was just wandering through some of my frequently visited websites, I came across a video on shelovesmagazine.com. It is called 'Obvious to you. Amazing to others.' The whole idea of the short video was that often we think others are amazing. They have an amazing talent, idea, gift, skill. We just wonder how they get these amazing things. But that person thinks that their idea, talent, gift, skill is no big deal to them. It is without thought. It is nothing special. It's like engrained in them. It comes naturally without effort. It's too obvious to them, but it's amazing to others.

What is obvious to me, but amazing to others? What are people amazed by when they think of me but I seem to think it is no big whoop?

Then it clicked.

I get the most praise for my heart, love, ability to survive, endurance, work, and compassion for Africa.

It seems like a strange talent or gift or skill. But that is my amazing.

Even yesterday I met with some other missionary friends who were amazed at how Kenyan I have become and how I utterly delight in my Kenyan life (most days) and the Kenyan people. I am constantly being told 'You are doing amazing things. I don't know how you do it Nikole. You have such a heart.' For me, my heart for African comes so naturally that I don't even think about it.

So I vowed to myself not to allow those thoughts of 'poor me', 'I have no talent', 'I am great at nothing' enter into my mind.

My next assignment for my writing class is to write a short bio about myself in less than 50 words. This is what I have so far:

Compassion is what moves Nikole to leave her small town in Canada and grow roots in Kenya. A laughing orphan, an empowered widow, a former street boy in school, a healed baby is what makes her thrive. She shares their stories hoping to inspire change, generosity, compassion, and love. 

Yup. That about sums up my amazing. 

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