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Talent. It's a strange word somehow. It describes so many people, so many different lives, so many gifts and choices. It can be used to comfort or scorn. It is something people seek and deny. Some people work at it, while others are born with it.
It can also be a dangerous word. A word that inspires people to think they are better than others, that wrecks their lives with its power. Celebrities are envied for their talent, worshiped for it in fact, and yet, what do they have that other people do not? Their relationships crumble, their dreams are shattered, they cry and whine, just like your average person. And yet they are revered. Why? Because they have talent.
But I have learned something recently. It is not only that they have talent, but that they have noticed talent. For many people have talent. I know dozens of people who are talented and gifted. So why are they not celebrities? Because their talent has not been noticed by the right people. It only takes one person with enough clout to get you somewhere for you to go from an average person with talent to a prodigy with talent.
Of course, it could not be as simple as that. Because to get to the place where the right people will see you, you have to work hard, you have to have passion, you have to be fearless. Perhaps that is what many people are lacking, not so much the talent, but the drive to succeed, the drive to go out and do something with their gifts.
When I think of talent, I think of many things, one of which is writing. I used to think I was a fairly talented writer in my own way for my age group. I used to believe I could hold my own on that score with many people my age. Oh boy, was I wrong. I may have talent, but the problem is that millions of people have so much more talent than I that my smidgen of it will never be noticed.
I have strained to write what will be accepted as good writing by everyone who reads it. I have honestly tried to work my writing into some kind of neat, shining package that will appeal to some editor or publisher. When I read others work that has been published I pause and compare it to my own. What do they have that I do not? Is it their ability to paint characters so vividly you become dear friends with them by the time the story is over? Is it their rich word usage, or their heart-warming plot lines?
Some writing I can easily see is better than my own, but others I wonder why they were accepted and I was not. Was it because their piece was simply sent in at the right time? Or does my work simply lack that cultured shine that proclaims to those wise persons, editors, that my writing is worth publishing?
Perhaps I am expecting too much talent out of me. Talent is not something you can force or try to snatch as it hovers elusively above you. Perhaps I just don't have what it takes to get published as of now, even as a teen writer. Maybe I am making a fool of myself to even try. But at the same time, whatever happened to practice makes perfect?? Whatever happened to determination? At my best I feel energized, ready to take on a new project that will blow their minds away, but with each attempt and failure getting re-energized gets harder...and harder...and harder.
Talent. The thing I need more of. The thing that will get me published. The thing that will make life easier. The thing that can change lives. The thing that inspires life long decisions and life long careers. How can all of these meaning be crammed into one six-letter word?
I have spoken of writing. Talent to me means writing, and acting, and making people happy. Those are the things I want to be talented at, so that is what talent means to me. Talent means something else to everybody. They think of the things they wanted to do but never did, the things they did do, the things people praise them for, and the things others are good at they wish they were good at too.
It's amazing what talent can make you feel. Pride, in a job well done or an achievement. Frustration, that no one seems to be noticing the talent you know is hidden deep inside you, just waiting for a chance to appear. Jealousy, that someone elses talent is constantly on display while yours is over looked. Possibly even anger, that you appear to not be really good at anything you do, that you will always be an extra, a person of mediocre gifts and abilities. That is the feeling I hate most.
So talent: a word that can destroy and make you cry, and a word that can build up and make you smile like never before. It is something that sets us free and binds us. Bad and good. But even when I think that I can never have enough talent to get noticed in this world, I won't let it hold me down. Everyone has a place in this world, and even without talent or fame, I'm going to find mine.