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Friday, July 14, 2006

Potential

“If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time.” ~Author Unknown

It had to have been eighth grade when things began to fall apart. Actually I distinctly remember Freshman year of high school, being told to read the novel of the same name, getting 10 pages into it and casting it aside. I’d rather fail than be bored to death. But only now have I realized that’s just how bored I was.

I had been a stellar student, I suppose. But then the advent of my new “fuck you, motherfucker” attitude at the end of my middle school years, also put an end to my stellar work ethic. Now it was “fuck you, fat ass” to my social studies teacher, and my God, I wish I were only kidding about that.

Through ninth grade, I found myself in an Honors Social studies and English hybrid course. During which I actually failed a quarter semester. Not because of some tragic family accident or Mono – The Excuse of all Excuses – but because I was lazy. Plain and simple. I didn’t feel like doing the work, I thought it was pointless, everything was trite, banal bullshit and so I did nothing. At the end of the school year, when it came time for recommendations for courses to take the next year, my Social Studies teacher, who had previously once failed me and reprimanded me, recommended me for an AP European History course which he would be teaching. To this day I remember the disclaimer “If Heather applies herself and works to her full potential then she will do very well in this class”.

Well, Heather applied herself and worked to a full potential of something over lame half assed work, and got a four on the AP test. I then went onto complete 28 college credits prior to the start of my Freshman year of University and received a four on every AP test. This isn’t to gloat, not in the least, because shit that happens in High School has absolutely no bearing on what happens today. Or at least it shouldn’t.

The thing is that I’m good at a lot of things, I guess. But holy hell, if doing those things well, requires work and effort, then I’m royally fucked, because giving my 110% to anything makes my head spin. Knowing that I’m good at something does nothing for me and really I could care less, because I know I won’t apply myself. That’s hard to admit but the honest to God truth that sometimes, I just don’t care. Because I don’t care, I’d rather do it at a bare minimum…no one will notice. Yet people always notice and then I just shrug.

When these things – the truths – rear their ugly little heads or give me a sucker punch to the gut, I’m finding it easier to go with it and do better, rather than run away. My half ass nature: at times putting things off until the last possible second until I’m pulling out my hair and grinding my teeth do not exactly help things. Now I’m stuck in this “what to do now” type place; a purgatory of sorts, whereby I can actually change these things and do well or I can be distracted by bright shiny things. For now, I shall sit on my ass and contemplate and roll my eyes at my ridiculous nature. If only I could do better. You know?

7 Comments:

Anonymous Jacynth said...

You can definitely go through life being distracted by bright shiney things while excelling above and beyond those that actually have to try. Sounds to me like you live the life of a genius. I say keep it.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

Hahaha Genius!
I'm so not a genius. I get bored with things that I'm uninterested in such as Things Fall Apart, which I hated.

But perhaps I am smarter than I give myself credit for, who knows.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Whinger said...

My eff it attitude started after I'd accumulated those same 28 credits prior to college, but then got no scholarship, no nothing, and ended up going to the same state school as the rest of my h.s. friends.
Sure I made it through college in 3 years, but they were a heck of a lot more fun when I stopped trying.
I should not be allowed to be a guidance counselor.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

I forgot to mention that I ended up getting into my first choice school. Which apparently is a good school - I seriously have/had no clue, but nonetheless, I went to American University and probably could have saved my parents a few thousand and gone to SUNY Albany or Cornell (for free)

oh well.

4:36 PM  
Blogger aibee said...

Do what makes you most content, Heather.

Deep, huh?

No, seriously, I kept trying to write some insightful crap about intelligence carrying the burden of potential, because when one is intelligent, one feels they must do something with this gift. Meanwhile, the gift of having choice, and of choosing to look at bright, shiny things, if that's what floats your boat, may be taken away because somewhere along the line, we began to believe that smart people don't waste their life doing simple shit like that.

I think they should be able to do so if they want to, and if they want to, then it isn't a waste of a life, it's taking hold of the life they want.

Or something.

That's when I gave up and decided to offer up something more simple. Ahem.

1:26 AM  
Blogger Starlet said...

Yeah I was pretty much always jealous of those bitches who got mono and got to sleep all day and be excused. I pretty much slept all day, didn't get excused, pulled some last minute crap together and got a C anyway.

HM. Interesting. Applying yourself isn't really necessary in high school I guess.

6:35 AM  
Blogger Lena said...

Wow. Speaking my language here. I KNOW that if I apply myself just the tiniest bit, that things happen for me. Which makes me berate myself more for letting half-ass people pass me by in life when I know I could do better than they are. The difference: they're willing to put in the effort.

Now I'm depressed. Oh, wait. I'll just go back and read what you said to your social studies teacher and that'll cheer me right up.

12:07 AM  

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