Trivial Pursuits: Master of none

Jamie Hult, Staff writer
After years of trying to uncover my hidden talents and many unproductive attempts to develop certain skills I clearly do not possess, I’ve had to settle with the fact that I will never be one of them: People Who Are Insanely Good at Lots of Things.  
You know them. They’re everywhere, proficiently playing musical instruments while singing on key at the same time, whipping up delicious meals without googling recipes or going grocery shopping, running marathons, businesses, households and iOS simultaneously when they’re not also beating people in chess, putting together complicated bookshelves in five minutes, speed-reading Ayn Rand and James Joyce and decorating Pinterest-worthy living spaces with pets and kids running around. 
Most maddening of all about People Who Are Insanely Good at Lots of Things is that they’re often quite modest about all the talents they’ve managed to master and totally oblivious to the fact that some of us are still struggling with keeping plants alive and boiling pots of water from overflowing. 
I find that when I’m decent at something, either (a) it’s not a real skill (like finding dropped contact lenses) or (b) the qualifying circumstances in which I can do this thing are ridiculously specific.
In tenth grade, for instance, I produced several promising sketches of faces in three-quarter view. When the assignment turned to drawing your neighbor’s profile or the front of their face, however, the supply closet took a significant hit on pencil erasers. 
And while I can entertain children to some degree by opening a book and reading aloud, I can do, maybe, three voices at best, including my own, and the other two are so off-putting that I’m generally advised by listeners to “just read it normal, Mom.” The same goes for accents; despite two foreign language classes and years of foreign-film watching, I suck at mimicry, which only goes to show there are some things we’re simply born with (and many I’m not). My 8-year-old can lapse into a fairly convincing voice-from-another-country whenever she pleases. She can also get up in front of people and talk without the slightest change in skin pigmentation and make farting sounds with various body parts (an iffy talent, perhaps, though it depends on the crowd).
If Greta grows up to be one of those People Who Are Insanely Good at Lots of Things, she’ll need to work on her humility a bit. 
As for me, I’ve got my occasional okayness at writing and plenty of enthusiasm to make up for my lack of other identifiable talents, as anyone who has ever seen me dance would probably agree.
Actually, when I dance by myself and I’ve had a drink or two, I’m not half bad. 


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