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I’m not a singer, like her. I can’t get up in front of an audience and wow them with my voice.
I’m not a musician, like him. I can’t create magic with my fingers on a piano or a guitar. I can barely play “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”.
And I’m not an A plus student, like she is. I’m not in all honors classes. I have to study for exams and papers, I can’t walk into a test cold and expect to ace it.
I’m not an actress. I’m too shy to hook myself up to a microphone and become someone else.
I’m not a dancer, I have no rhythm. I’d love to live theatrically, place my future there. As much as I love it, the look of the dancers as they jump and fly, the sounds of the band and the sweet pitches of the singers, I have no future there.
I can’t run, or jump, or kick a ball. I can’t make a basket or whack a ball with a bat.
I’m not always nice; I have a mean streak that can really kick in. I’m a yeller sometimes, I get mad at people I shouldn’t. I’m no saint, I’m not angelic. I’m not great with all kids. I try to be, and some love me, but somehow they always seem to prefer her.
He, she, him, her…they’re my friends. It seems like sometimes they have all these possibilities open to them. He’s holding Harvard in his hand. She’s got a swim scholarship locked up. They are casts as the leads in every musical, before auditions start.
Maybe the Talent Fairy missed me when she was giving my family and my friends their gifts. Maybe I was simply skipped over. But, please, God, could you have saved a little bit of sparkle left for me? Can you tell me where I belong, if I belong anywhere? I try, I really do, but no gold dust ever shines on me when cast lists are posted. No red A’s are ever marked on my tests. I never make it beyond the bench when I try to be athletic. I’m sick of the “I’m sorry, Em” line when I don’t make or get something.
I would dip a brush in paint and paint a world of thought if I could. I would dance across the stars and leap over the moon, twirling on the rings of Saturn until my body tires itself out, if I could. I’d sing to the heavens, I’d put on a hat and strut across the stage, if I could. I’d write songs to make every eye weep, if I could.
But I can’t. Maybe, one day, I’ll be someone. I won’t hide in the background of my friends, I won’t sit in the chorus of some play. I’ll do something good, maybe. Maybe I’ll find talent in something that I can share with people.
But for right now, I’m still seventeen, and I’m still watching my siblings, my cousins and my best friends shine. I won’t feel bad for myself, because if I was meant to have a talent, then I’ll discover one, someday.