Everyone has some sort of talent -- whether he/she is artistic, good at sports, or has a unique ability or something that sets him/her apart from the crowd. It's that one thing that makes us, us. In the end, however, it's up to us how we use this unique talent. We can use it to make a powerful impact or we can hide it away until something or someone allows us to show it off.
Our talents are what set us apart from the rest of the crowd. They're something that can never be taken away, no matter how hard people try.
We're always trying to distinguish ourselves, because in a sea of faces, we want to be singled out for our uniqueness, and not for something ridiculous, which, in 2013, could include a broad spectrum because, let's face it: in this age, being recognized for notoriety is the new new norma. Television alone teaches us that.
Everyone has the urge for his or her moment in the sun, where all eyes are focused on him/her and the attention is undivided -- like the feeling of flying without a seat belt: it's that rush of adrenaline that is fleeting. We want to savor every moment.
In most cases, however, we allow our fears to consume our desires for the spotlight. We fear the criticism will be too negative and that our self esteem will be so crushed that we'll never take a chance on trying to put ourselves out there ever again.
When I was kid, it was my dream to be a stand up comic, to join my fellow comedians, relying my stories about my family and every day life on a stage that was once inhabited by Rodney Dangerfield, Joan Rivers, Rita Rudner, even Sam Kinison. I wanted to make people laugh. As I got older, however, my fear took over and I had to let go off that dream. The idea of standing up in front of a crowd of people was enough to make tears start pouring out of my eyes. Even now the very idea of stepping onto a stage paralyzes me.
I wish there was a way to overcome my fear, but I think it's so deep that even if I do, I'd still panic and worry about misspeaking. I'd also worry about looking different or not speaking like an adult and sounding like a little kid -- all those fears you are supposed to work through as a teenager that never seem to leave no matter how old I get.
My aunt Meany used to say to us when we'd talk about what we wanted to be when we grew up and how scared we were, that we had nothing to fear but fear itself. For years we were convinced she had made up the saying until we figured it was FDR. Anyway, we thought that as long as we pushed through the fear and looked on the other side we could get through anything. But unfortunately that only worked in specific situations.
So I changed my career path. I had to change everything else. I wanted to be seen as more than just a learning disability. I wanted to be seen as someone who moved past that and was able to grasp onto a new dream -- to write a book that would make an impact on what matters. I got through it with my sanity as well as with my individuality. I refuse to bow to conventional expectations.
Do you have a talent that stands out? Do you throw it out for the world to see it or hide it in the closet with the rest of the crap accumulated over the years?
Follow Nikki Luongo on Twitter: www.twitter.com/GroovyNikki