I do not think I am exceptional in anything except maybe my ability to screw around and waste time on the internet. Well, maybe I am also good at contributing to the drivel one finds on the internet. At that I am a champion.
It’s a good thing that I am not exceptional in any other areas because if I were, I would probably end up more neurotic than I already am.
How’s that? I have noticed that many of us like to venerate the person who stands out as an individual, a person who is uniquely exceptional in some way. We want our children to be intelligent, well-educated, athletic, physically beautiful, talented, powerful, and financially successful.
Yet when they grow into and embrace their exceptional achievements, when they actually excel as a result of their exceptionalism, many relish at seeing them fail — even to the point of contributing to that failure. For example, the smart child is labeled a “nerd” or “egg-head” and ridiculed to the point where she sublimates her abilities. Similarly, the athlete, the beauty, and the talented creative are used (and abused) for their exceptionalism in order to make money for their promoters. They are used until they injure themselves, burn out physically and emotionally, and, in some cases, are destroyed through drugs, mental illness, or suicide. And then they become fodder for our morbid curiosity in the press and media. How confusing and twisted is that?
So you see why I am glad not to be exceptional in much. I couldn’t handle it.