Holding It All Together: Our Talents

By Amy McCollom
As I sit here in my chair, I am evaluating my skills, gifts, and talents. That can be messy, for in examining oneself, one must peel back layers of words that have been spoken by others your whole life. “She’s ruining the whole thing!” “Oh no, not HER on our team!” “Why can’t you be more like…..” “If you think she’s good, you should hear her sister!” “You did a good job, I didn’t even realize it was you up there!” “Honey, you’re not mediocre at everything; you’re terrible at basketball.”

There was a Talent Show Friday at Ag Days in Villa Grove. There was also a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, but as mentioned, I’m terrible at basketball. I do have a few of what I would call talents, albeit, I am sure there are categories and guidelines to which participants must adhere.

What exactly is a talent? Well, according to Google, talent is a natural aptitude or skill. Synonyms can be: flair, aptitude, facility, gift, knack, technique, touch, bent, ability, expertise, capacity, power, faculty. This definition begs the question; can skills that are learned later still be considered a talent? I believe so.

It has been said that, choices become habits, and habits become talents. If you have ever worked at a job for over a year, you know how proficient you can become in that time. The first day on the job was awkward, but the 366th day, you could do it practically blindfolded. Skill, gift, or talent? It’s the same with anything. If you do something for eight hours a day for a year, you are going to be pretty good at it on day 366. (If not, well, that is a whole different column.)

So you see, talents can be in anything. Hospitality, brain surgery, singing, drafting, mechanics, cross stitching, baking, dog walking, teaching, organization, mathematics, juggling, time management, event planning, or playing the tuba. I have been told that I have a gift for working with children, that writing is my calling, that I’m pretty good on the drums, and that I make a mean lasagna. I can make a decent birthday cake, I can play the mountain dulcimer and the harmonica, my salmon patties are to die for, and I once drew a picture of a groundhog that got me an A+. Everybody has talents. Everybody.

I imagine there were a lot of singers, some aspiring stand-up comics, some musicians, and maybe some off- the-wall act at this years Ag Days Talent Show; especially since there is a monetary prize involved. As for me, well, I would like to win the money, but at the same time, I get nervous in front of people.

I have never been one that enjoys standing out. I did enough of that when I was a dorky kid in middle school. I have never been the kind of person to seek fortune and glory, and I pray that I always have a humble heart. I think my best talents are the ones I keep to myself, anyway. And maybe I just want to keep it that way.

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