Friday, August 16, 2013

The Few Things I'm Good At

This might get a little personal, but I want to get it off my chest.

First off, there's not many things I'm good at. I'm not being mean here, I'm being serious. I'm about to be 28 years old and I don't have a college degree of any kind. I can't dance, sing, and I'm not athletic. I'm not really involved in anything. There's nothing I can point to that I'm good at. My crafts are okay at best and I can only do a few things. No sewing or painting or anything.

There are a couple of things I can do well.

I'm very organized. I'm being serious when I say "very" organized. I can put order to anything. In fact, most times I have a hard time NOT putting order to something. Like in what order I'll take notes in my multi colored pens; red can't be next to orange or green for obvious reasons, but I'd pick green before orange. If you understand why you're as messed up as I am. I try to either make everything go in order or in forced randomness. At Hallmark we're organizing things before inventory. I am freakishly good at it and sadly I'm enjoying it, too. There's even been a few cases where someone else has "organized" something and I go back and find mistakes. Might make me a jerk but there's not very many things I'm good at and organizing is one of them. Just last week I cleaned and reorganized by bookcases. Each book was shifted just a bit and a few drastic changes were made. When I was done I was so proud of my work that I sat and looked at the cases for a while. On the other hand, Matt couldn't even tell the difference. It's because I'm the one who loves to organize and is really good at it.

The next thing I'm good at is hit and miss, but I enjoy baking and cooking. I'd say that at least over half the times I'm good at it, too. Not great. Not bakery great or restaurant great. But I can make enjoyable and fun looking things. When I'm stressed I want to bake. Most people just want to eat, but making cookies or decorating a cake really relaxes me. Until it doesn't turn out right and I yell a bit. At least it's something I can do and sometimes receive complements on. I can't do anything super fancy or impressive, but when it comes to making dinner out of whatever is in the house, or throwing together a last minute dessert, I can do that.

There's one more thing I'm good at: I'm good at cleaning. I do not enjoy to clean. Quite the opposite. But I'm really good at it. My first job was in a hotel and I would clean about a dozen rooms a day, as I remember. I liked that when I walked in each room looked messy and used but when I left they looked exactly like the rest. At work I clean and dust all the time. I have a job where I clean a family's house for them. They're kinda messy so I get that nice before and after difference that I want. It's nice because they compliment me on how much better they feel, or how much better it looks. Even their 8 year old son at one point told me he liked how I put away his LEGOs. Again, I in no way enjoy this. Scrubbing bathrooms, especially after boys who haven't learned to aim, isn't really worth it to me. But we need the money and I'm good at it so I clean. I feel better in my own house when everything is clean and put where it belongs. At least when I clean for other people I know I'm giving them the same feeling.

So, now I'm at this weird internal crossroads. The only things I'm good at are cleaning, organizing, and cooking. What am I supposed to do with that? Talk about having no ambitions in life. I will never have an awesome career that makes a difference. I will never do something really impressive. I will never make a big change. The closest I got to wanting a career I changed my mind when I started to take the classes for it. Long story and that's a whole other blog, if I ever even tell it. Retail certainly isn't where I want to be, but it fills the time and gives me the money I need. Even today, at pushing 30, I can't tell you what I want to be when I "grow up".

What does a woman do when all she can do is organize, cook, and clean? She makes a really good stay at home wife and mother. There is nothing wrong with being a stay at home mom. In fact, there's something amazing and amiable about it. But most stay at home moms I know also have a good degree or job, whether or not they still practice it now that they're home. It gives them something else; something to be proud of or a job they can fall back on if needed. I don't have that. I don't have a job I'm proud of or a degree that matters.... or a degree at all. Before I'm 30, barely before I'm 30, I'll get my Associates of Arts in English. That's barely a step about General Studies. Not much to brag about and certainly no jobs to get from it.

You know what the worst part is? The only thing I'm good at is the thing that's out of my control to be. I would be a great mom. I've had friends make comments about how good I am with their newborns. How I can put a baby to sleep. Keep a child entertained. One friend in particular was shocked I knew how to properly hold a baby when they had to take classes and read books on how to do it. It's because I'm always around kids and always helping out when I can.

It's bad enough to realize that I'm not made to do anything great: I'll never make a huge difference. I'll always "just" be a stay at home wife and mother. Nothing more than that. It makes matters worse that I don't have kids. If I'm really only made to be that, than why aren't I? I believe I'd be a good mom. I believe it would make me happy and I wouldn't miss not having a job or career. I think that whatever loss or void I'm feeling by not being good at anything that matters wouldn't matter anymore because I could use the few things I'm good at to be a great mother.

It's a catch 22. If I had dreams and aspirations to be a doctor or lawyer or anything else than I could take control and take matters into my own hands and do something about it. But all I want, and all I'm good at, is something that isn't in my hands. I don't have control over this. I can't have a baby just because I want one. I'm just waiting for an opportunity that I can actually start using the things I'm good at for something that matters. Instead of organizing work, baking treats for other's, or cleaning other people's house, I can use all those things at home to make my husband and children's lives better. I feel like I'm wasting my time just waiting until it will finally happen for me. Something I can be proud of and enjoy.

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