When I was in the fifth grade, they used to give kids "IQ" tests. One day they singled me out, took me to Mrs. Roof's little closet office (literally a janitor's closet in the hallway), and eventually proclaimed me "gifted and talented". It was horrible to be separated from the herd, tagged with a number, and sent off to think great thoughts with the geeky kids. In my case, it did more harm than good. I figured since we already knew how smart I was, there was nothing left to prove. I stopped trying, and muddled through the rest of my public school years with as little effort as possible. I was so put off by the system, and its failure to see me for my individual wonderfulness, that I opted out of college, and headed for a life of creative adventure. Eventually I went from feeling like the superior smart kid, to feeling more like the ignorant vagabond hippie chick. I lost track of my own unique gifts and talents, and continued to muddle through life.
I'm thinking of this now, not so much because I'm feeling particularly smart, but because I'm feeling genuinely gifted, but not in the old personal-ability way. This is more of a grateful acceptance kind of thing. I have a little bit of trouble accepting kindness from others. It's much more comfortable for me to give than to receive. I'm working on that, and I'm getting a lot of help with it too. Lately it seems like I'm being singled out again, and asked to go in for another test. This test is much more meaningful, and the office is not a dingy closet, but the whole wide world instead.
I get it. It's true, I am gifted. Gifted to have a husband who adores me and is my absolute comrade in life, gifted to have friends who love me and aren't afraid to show it, gifted with actual tokens of their affection, many of them recently, and gifted, finally, after a lot of muddled years, to be able to open my hands, eyes, heart, and let it all in. Even in the chaos I've willingly plopped myself in the middle of, there's a growing sense of calm, and enormous gratitude for all the gifts that surround me. Gifted and Talented. Aren't we all, in some way or other? We don't need Mrs. Roof to tell us that. We just need to step outside that crummy little office, and take the time to see it for ourselves. Recognition, acceptance, and gratitude are what make it all click into place.