Saturday, June 13, 2009

My hidden talent

“Can you say it again,” asked my 10 grade English teacher Mr. Proctor.
Oh no, I thought, after presenting a memorized soliloquy of a Shakespearean play. Did I screw up my lines? Perhaps I wasn’t loud enough? So I repeated my lines once more as Mr. Proctor listened intently.
Afterwards he said, “You have a gift.”
So now I was getting a present?? My bewilderment was obvious.
“Your pronunciation and enunciation was flawless and your ability to move people with your voice is remarkable,” he continued.
“Oh.” I said, still bewildered and now dumbfounded. I walked back to my seat to digest the news.
I had enjoyed reading Shakespeare aloud; except for the memorization part (I have a terrible memory). By evening my glee was obvious.
“Mr. Proctor says I have a gift!” I screamed when my mom walked through the door. As I spilled all the gory details to my mom, I awaited her response.
“That’s good,” she said. “But ask Mr. Proctor how the gift can help you in your future career.”
Future career? What difference did that make? I thought. I have a gift. Period.
My mom explained, “People often make career decisions based on their talents. If this is one of your talents, then you need to know how you can use it to your advantage.”
I guess she had a point. The next day, I gathered up the courage to ask Mr. Proctor the very same question. Mr. Proctor paused for a moment then said:
“You could be an actor,”
Acting? I was definitely not into acting. I am extremely straightforward and acting in any situation is not my forte.
“Or you could go into languages.”
Okay. Getting warmer. I did love learning French.
“Or you could be a teacher.”
Maybe, I thought, he’s onto something, as I walked back to my seat.

I recently shared this story with my students last week to explain that all of them have talents in different areas. Sometimes, someone points us in the right direction. Sometimes we choose to ignore the signs. I know I did. Luckily, my career destiny did finally materialize. The signs are always there. And destiny always wins.

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