Nov 11, 2013

Failing to Find Your Niche - 1

To find your niche in life, you must first be proficient at failing. 

Growing up, I was not very good at many things.

Cello in grade school, little league baseball, neighborhood fistfights and wrestling.  Terrible, at all of them.  9th grade, I wrestled a boy that was born without legs.  He pinned my scrawn in 15 seconds.

Paper route when I was 13:  was lost my first few times, didn't realize I inadvertently dropped a paper to the front and back door of the same low income apartments.  It was an evening route, getting dark, I was confused and ran out of papers before the route was finished.  Surprised I didn't get canned.

Detasseling corn as an early teen, I was allergic to pollen, messed around too much, wasn't always able to keep up and missed too many tassels.  Foreman asked me not to return the next season.

Orthodontist said I had to wear headgear all day, even at school.  Girls weren't keen on my headgear.


Saxophone in high school, practiced for hours but missed qualifying for state.  Everybody else in our band that auditioned made the cut.  Basketball couldn't make a layup, football I was the 90 pound punching bag.  High school writing I received a -15 score on an essay.  Didn't realize it was even possible to score lower than zero on a test.

Once inadvertently dumped a crock of potpourri simmering on the stove into a vat of chili mom had cooking for guests that night.  My dad still does a facepalm as he recounts the time I accidentally misplaced a $100 bag of new school clothes at the mall.  Caught the kitchen on fire when I was 16, boiling a bike chain in paraffin.  Dad told my brother later in life, that boy (Beard) cost me a lot of money.

The misses persisted into adulthood.

My marriage bombed.  At least half of it was my own fault.

Before leaving the fold from my old church, the pastor looked me square and said I likely wasn't going to heaven.  2007, I was driving too fast for the conditions, spun the car on an icy I235 and narrowly missed killing daughter and I to an approaching semi.

I share all this not because my story is unique, but because I think it's similar to many people.  Except for the headgear part, I hope you were spared that.  We try different things, look back at our past and sometimes wonder, holy smokes, there's gotta be something I'm good at...

Thankfully, there were several key people or events that crossed paths throughout life, showing up exactly when I needed them.  Don't know if it was divine intervention, chance encounters or simply being aware of my surroundings and following the trail.  Regardless, they saved me.

To be continued...

8 comments:

  1. I'm glad you shared this. As a quiet follower of your blog, I appreciate heating your struggled. I'm in my own rut right now and this gives me hope. I fully believe that it is divine intervention. Thanks.

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    1. "I understand that you suck at many things Beard, do tell me more."

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  2. I have read your blog for a while now, and I really enjoy it, your writing style in particular. And that I also relate to your situation, I'm the fiancee of a single dad with a tween daughter with a very similar history (in regards to mom) to yours. I am in that "Holy smokes, there's gotta be something I'm good at..." place right now. I spent much of my evening last night reflecting on my life thinking that very same thing. I'm anxiously awaiting the rest of this post. Keep them coming!

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    1. I was going to do a $1,000 Follower Freebie giveaway on B&P tonight, but forget that. You want more fail stories, so getting busy on that now.

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  3. I know it was probably humiliating for you but I'm fascinated by that wrestling story! That's mad impressive for that kid.

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    1. Combination of no legs to grab and my general incompetence at wrastling made for a clown-like match.

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  4. the dreaded head gear….. i only had to wear it at night - and while that spared me embarrassment, it made it so painful every day. Worst pain of my life!

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    1. Not as painful as wearing it to school.

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Thanks for the note, check back for my response!