05 October 2010


I am studying, for maybe the 10th time in my life.  I hate studying, it never seems to work for me.

The truth is, I've never needed to study, I probably don't even need to study right now.  I'm that guy in class that everybody hates.  I quietly walk in to class, write about 15 lines of notes during a 90 minute class, then quietly leave, and still I get a higher score on the exam than you.  Heck, without studying I got the highest score at my high school on the state Physics competency test.  I didn't even study for the test that most people consider the most important you take, the ACT(the inter-mountain/west coast version of the SAT) on which I got a 29(equivalent to a 1960 SAT according to Google).  All through elementary and middle school my teachers told my parents how I was probably some kind of genius, but that I never fully applied myself.

My aforementioned ACT score did, however, plant the seed of self-doubt.  I realized that, while I did get an awesome score, it wasn't a perfect score.  I began to think back through my life, trying to think of a time where I could honestly tell myself that I did my best but I couldn't think of a single one.  Not in school, sports, or other activities, I was perfectly content on allowing natural talent to carry me, and settle only for 'above-average'.

Not doing my best, I have slowly realized, has plagued my entire life.  Even writing this blog made painfully obvious that I failed with Liz something, at the time, I wanted more than anything else, because I was only willing to give enough.  Even now I wonder, with Hannah gone, have I taken her for granted as well?  As I lay in bed, before sleep takes me, I am bombarded by memories that I could have made better, then wonder, does Hannah feel the same way when she remembers?

I remember those old cartoons, when an important decision arose a small angel appeared on one of the character's shoulders while a devil appeared on the other, both attempting to gain sway over the decision.  There have been times looking back that I feel like I've heard those voices, those persuasive debates, in one corner: the voice of enough, the voice of laziness; in the other: the voice of perfection, urging me to do great things.  In reality, they aren't voices at all, there are no tiny creatures whispering in my ears, in fact it is only my conscience telling me what I should do, opposed to the rationale of doing just enough.

Sometimes I feel like I already have enough regrets to fill a life time, and I know it's because I've never given my best, never reached my true potential.  This is why I've been laboring to do my best, because I've seen enough of the alternative.  I want to know my potential, how can I know if it's not boundless?  I want to be someone worth being, someone worth being with.  Enough with enough.


singlemormonchick said...

oh my gosh. i love this post. i will have to write more later, but i just couldnt wait to tell you(because my opinion means so much to you, i know)how i love what you have written here. seriously.
ps-i have always hated rush, but when i hear it when i come to your blog,i like it. weird.

Fei @ The Companion said...

I hear you.

Heard of the 80/20 balance? How it takes 20% effort to get 80% competency and 80% effort to get past that last 20%. I think the numbers are bogus, but the idea makes sense to me.

My sister and I are only 1 year apart and we were always compared to each other. I have always been the more talented one, the quicker learner, the one who excelled in school without needing to try. She was slower, but she was a lot more hardworking. Our piano teacher would comment on how she worked harder and was more consistent, but I was naturally talented and didn't try very hard. I was lazy.

When we went to college, I slacked off and she got good grades. I quit school, she's graduated and has a good job. It's the hard work and dedication that matters in the end.

I'd always taken pride in my talents, but the truth is, if that is something you are born with, you can't take any credit for it. It's what you do with it that counts.