NEW CASTLE —
What makes you so special?
It cracks me up to hear this question, because when it's generally asked, there's more than a bit of snark involved.
"What makes YOU so special?" is the childish chant of many an offended person to the individual getting some sort of perceived privilege. What makes me chuckle about it is the response I've used (if only inside my head) since I first heard this query in the second grade: "Well, I'm smarter than you, for starters."
Yeah, I know I'm gonna get a lot of poo-poo from everyone I know about saying that, but I said it nonetheless. I'm smart. So there. Not Van Gogh cut-your-own-ear-off insane smart or anything. Smart enough to be tortured, but not smart enough to do anything about it. Let's say, just a little smarter than the average bear.
I became good at hiding this fact very early on in life because I immediately got a cold dose of "nobody likes a smarty pants" the very first time I used a word that my peers hadn't heard before. After several more attempts at winning friends and influencing people with my intellect, I realized that even if Dale Carnegie was OK with sitting alone on the school bus, I really wasn't.
Flash forward to adulthood, and the commonly-used phrase became, "It's INTIMIDATING dating a smart woman." Seriously, dude? I can do your taxes and change the oil in your car and you find that to be UNappealing? OK, whatever. Go away, brain, you're not welcome here.
Now admit it: you're thinking about how arrogant I am. I know it's not nice to brag, but that wasn't my point. What I'm trying to say is that there's something special about all of us. Maybe you have a beautiful singing voice. Maybe you're a star athlete. Perhaps your gift is communicating with aliens.
No matter what it is, you'll have people that dislike you for it. The thing is, that's their problem — don't let them make it yours. As the saying goes: Not your circus. Not your monkeys.
It never ceases to amaze me that when you find out someone has a special talent, and you ask them to show you, their response is so often, "Aw, no. It's embarrassing." Where did that embarrassment come from?
Ah, yes, from the finger-pointing critics of the schoolyard playground. Please don't listen to the haters, people. The world isn't a playground. It's a stage. YOUR stage.
So rock it, rock star.
And the next time someone asks you what makes you so special — yep, go ahead and tell them.
NEW CASTLE —
What makes you so special?
- Lisa Madras
Lisa Madras: I struggle with goodbyes, so I’ll just say ‘thank you’
After 12 amazing years at the New Castle News, it is finally time for me to say goodbye. I walked through the doors of this building believing that I had found the place I would live out the rest of my days, content in the chaos of deadlines and bylines, inky fingers and editorials.
Lisa Madras: Is this goodbye for us? That’s a great question
So we’re down to two now. Two blog to go. So close to the end, yet so much left to say. (It feels so much like the end of a relationship!) No more questions. I’ve asked enough of those.
Lisa Madras: Somewhere between ‘showing up’ and ‘giving up,’ there is hope
What do you do when you feel like giving up? I've been writing for a long time. Longer even than my time with this newspaper, but I do have to say that this has been my favorite writing stint of all time, and I'm going to miss it.
Lisa Madras: ‘Somewhere’ there’s a place for me — sorry it’s just not here
Where else would you like to live? Why? I'm sure that my answer to this question is going to tick off a lot of people: I want to live somewhere else. I don't know where yet, but somewhere else.
Lisa Madras: Sometimes, a subtle sign can restore my ‘Roar’
Do you believe in signs? I'll never forget the first time I heard the Katy Perry song, "Roar," on my car stereo. It was about a year ago, and I was sitting at the red light at the intersection of Ellwood Road and 376 — probably headed to Kmart or somewhere like that.
Lisa Madras: Choose pain from your hurts over the pain of regret
In your lifetime, what have you done that hurt someone else? I just came back from my twice-yearly dental appointment. My dental hygienist and I have great conversations that we try to squeeze into these short appointments.
Lisa Madras: Have I learned from my failures? Lord knows I’ve tried
Which is worse, failing or never trying?You'll have to excuse me if I've asked this question before. I honestly can't remember. Getting older hasn't been kind to my brain — which is the reason why I constantly question my decision to go back to school and completely switch careers.
Lisa Madras: Ten thoughts to help my Son shine brightly
If you could send a message to anyone in the world, right now, who would you send it to and what would it be? The whole #YesAllWomen phenomenon on Twitter (a response to the California rampage) has me thinking quite a lot about the lessons we teach our sons.
Lisa Madras: Thankful that Voice of soldiers is what makes America beautiful
In last week's blog, I asked the question, "What makes someone a hero?" In hindsight, I realized I probably should have saved that question for this week.
Lisa Madras: We can all add a little extra to our ordinary
What makes someone a hero? It can be difficult to put a hard-and-fast definition on what makes someone a hero. One of the problems we have (in our society, at least) is that the term "hero" is used loosely to describe anyone we happen to look up to.
- More Lisa Madras Headlines
- Lisa Madras: I struggle with goodbyes, so I’ll just say ‘thank you’