Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What Are You First?

When you go to describe yourself, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

For me, it's always been "smart," whether that sounds mildly arrogant or not. Smart has had its ups and downs for me: on the one hand, it's always meant that I take to school easily and succeed at academics with very little effort. It meant that I could talk to adults on an adult level from a young age. It means that I can read and read and read and comprehend very difficult books and take joy in the sense of discovery that comes from that process. It means I'm the kind of person that gathers information and is very analytical. It means being the person in the room who can explain that obscure concept you happened to bring up. Being smart opened the doors to a wonderful university. I will be the first in my immediate family to graduate college. It means that I have the world at my feet because the wonderful world blooming in my brain is infinite. I can do anything.

But it's also meant that I was labeled as a "nerd" in school and singled out. It meant knowing that other smart kids were competing fiercely with me and wanted to see me fail. It meant feeling self-conscious participating in class because I was "showing off." It meant being teased because showing your smarts is grounds for ostracization in playground culture. It meant that I didn't feel that much like a kid sometimes because my mother saw my potential and pushed me hard to grow up. It meant I didn't feel right being silly for a very long time. It meant I didn't feel like I could relate to people very well if they weren't at a similar intellectual level. It meant that sometimes I felt profoundly isolated and alone.

But we take the good with the bad and I've always recognized that being smart makes me who I am, even if many other people are the very same way. I wouldn't trade being smart, because for me, it's what I am first.

What are you first?


Jem said...

Count me in as a member of the "smart" or "nerd" club. I've always been perceived as a smart, which as you perfectly explained has its good and bad sides. Also I love that you chose to feature a picture of the coolest brainiac in Hollywood; Emma Watson! I think she's a really awesome role model for anyone who's been labeled as smart, she shows you can be more then just a label.

Vanessa said...

I'm a little in love with Emma Watson (and I totally identified with Hermione as a kid). I think that she seems like the kind of person who will continue being bright, grounded, and classy throughout her career. Not to mention she's gorgeous! See, beauty and brains can coexist!

Laells said...

I'm an artist first and foremost.

I went as far to tattoo the word 'Artist' on my drawing hand in my handwriting. It makes me smile every time I look at it. I loves it. I also had it positioned so that someone who shakes my hand can read it properly. I wanted it to be a statement to others about who I am.

I love having an outlet, being creative, getting my hands messy, and always having cheap gifts to give.

Laells said...

P.S. Well it's not on my hand. It's on the inside of my right wrist. I made it sound like it was on my palm or something. lol

McKella said...

Creative. I'm plenty smart, but I've been known to write stories during class if the subject bores me.

marzipan said...

You and me both ;)
I loved this! And Emma Watson!!

Anonymous said...

I feel like this was much harder for me to answer than it should have been.

But after some thought, the first thing I came up with was "introverted."

I think some people automatically take that word to mean shy, or even antisocial, which is not me at ALL, but I definitely treasure my alone time, and often prefer smaller group to larger ones, and I like to have time to relax and just THINK and REFLECT and learn, about myself and the world.

Also a big fan of Emma. ohmystarsinheaven she's so amazing!


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