Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Smart One

 ATTENTION: CPE-ish post ahead...need to do some self-clarification, or whatever it's called...

Every once in a while, I get tired of being "the smart one."

I am smart, and I know that. My intelligence and ability to think and learn and understand and make connections are gifts from God, for which I am so grateful.

But for so much of my life, I've been labelled "the smart one."  Whatever else I think I lack - beauty, popularity, musical ability, a leg, whatever - has been countered with, "oh, but you're so smart."

But the thing of it is, there's so much more to me than the fact that I'm smart.  I like baseball and college basketball and football.  I like music and movies.  I'd like to learn how to sing.  I like stargazing on a crisp, clear night.  I like cooking and baking and playing board games.  I'd like to be more of a wine connoisseur - I already am a pretty decent coffee connoisseur.

And I feel like people don't know that about me.  I feel like my whole life, I've been pigeonholed as "the smart one" to such a degree that nobody knows anything else about me, except that I'm smart.  I feel like people think about me when they need help with their homework or understanding tough theology, or translating German, but not when they need somebody to watch a movie or take a walk or play cards or cook dinner with.  I'm not the one whose hand you want to hold or who you just want to sit back with and drink a beer and talk about your day.  But...I want to be. 

And I don't know how to communicate all this.  Because people who already know me, already have this image of me.  It's hard to be friends with people when you know that you're the "smart friend" but not the "fun friend."  It's hard to be part of a family that doesn't ever ask if I want to toss the ball around outside.  It's hard to admit that, even to people I care about and who (presumably) care about me, I am an unknown.  It's hard to be a one-trick pony.

And I don't know if it's my fault - have I just not told people who I am?  Have I just found it easier to get all introverted-up and be "the smart one" instead of trusting people with my whole self?  Have I let other people set expectations for me, and I just lived into those expectations that were all about everybody else? 

How am I thirty years old, and just now figuring all this stuff out?  (And without the benefit of therapy - I'm doing this all on my own!)  All this self-assessment stuff is really hard work, and while it's good to come to the conclusions about myself, it's even harder to know what to do with it all. 



felicitouschick said...

"They really put too much mayonnaise on those things..."

I wish you were closer; I think of you as my fun friend. When you are far away, it is much easier to call and ask for advice on Cancer charities, etc., but close up, I love to dance, talk, bake, heck, steal your knee cap! I miss the fun, free, us. Are a lot of people around you having this kind of fun often? Because I feel like I miss out on it too, and maybe it is more of a function of time of life than personality? Or maybe I'm in the same conundrum as you and don't have the same enlightenment about it yet. ;)

Tim said...

Come on over, have a beer, and we'll put a movie in! Besides you need to come meet Krissy. :)

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