Monday, May 3, 2010

a letter to a gifted child in a sluggish world

Sometimes life feels like a battle

Dear gifted child in a sluggish world,

I know you feel like there will never be a time when your wits catch up to your ever growing feet and hands. I know the quickness of your mind is sometimes so fast that you feel queasy, seasick as you try to walk in the straight line everyone expects you to. I know the passage of time is often painfully slow and other times gut wrenching fast, and that the middle ground eludes you. The world seems sluggish and in a blur to you. Meaning is hard to find. Sometimes life feels like a battle. If I could give you any of the wisdom, or foolishness, of my years, I would tell you this.

Slow down. The road stretching out before you may be long or cut short, but the steps you need to get there are the same. Stop running and walk. Be still when you are tired. Turn when you feel like it and do not follow the masses, who usually lead you nowhere. If you can, walk alone.

Travel. Leave everything you know behind and enter a place where nothing and no one is familiar. Open your eyes and mind and ears, and remember that you always have much to learn. Stay until you are complacent, and then do it again. You will never run out of places to go.

Study. Cultivate an eclectic mind full of knowledge which may not seem to matter. Learn something every single day you live. See something new. Say a new word. Listen to a song you have never heard before. Eat a new flavor. Smell a new smell. Read.

Risk. Risk it all when you can without hurting someone you love.

Do not covet things. Get what you need, and sometimes what you desire, but do not become a slave to things which will rot and wither when you move on. Things are heavy and burdensome, and never really give you what you are seeking.

Laugh. A lot.

Practice compassion.

Get ready not to know the answer. While you are always the first to understand and the first to finish, get ready to never really know the answers. As you struggle and fight to figure it all out, try to imagine that in the end you won't, since no one ever really does. That's when you can find the true happiness of the quandary. That's when you will revel in the excitement of the search. If the search ever really ended, what would you be doing anyway? The search is the answer.

~ The mother of a gifted child