Things I'm Not Good At

Simulation of me failing at napping...
Like most parents, my mom and dad always supported me in my endeavors when I was a child.  As long as they were appropriate endeavors.  I still recall my mother asking me why I didn’t take an interest in things like cars and sports while en route to a piano lesson.  I think she was also not-so-secretly critiquing my obsessive collection of Beanie Babies.  It was a phase that passed, though hundreds of beanbag animals still haunt my house, hidden away someplace. They’ll be worth money, just wait.

Be it music, school, or faithful adhesion to a plush obsession, I excelled when I put my heart into something.  Though as an adult (I laughed, too), I am discovering that I am not good at everything.  Suddenly, years of supportive coddling and “yes you can” praise have left poor Bryan with an ego the size of the Hindenburg, with a similar ending when failure strikes.  These revelations have come recently, but all too markedly.

1. Saying no has never been a problem when it comes to a drink, chocolate, or an opportunity to advance my burgeoning stardom.  Still, I am no good and absolutely incapable of saying no when I want to decline an offer.  It usually goes something like this:

“Hey, want to hang out with me sometime?” 

“No,” I think, resolutely.

“Yes sure, when’s good for you?” dribbles out of my mouth.  I have a fear of disappointing people, of missing a potential opportunity to have a good time even when I know that three hours of boy-talk and complaining about this fantastic country we live in will only irritate my ever-fraying expat nerves.  That’s why I always say “yes” to a drink.

2. Napping is an art and I shall never be Picasso.  When 3PM rolls around, I would love to turn the lights off, put on my “Sleepy Mix” and spread out on the couch for an hour, carelessly and blissfully unaware of the world around.  But then phones vibrate, computers beckon, and I stare at the ceiling wondering when the nap becomes pleasurable.  At what point do I start enjoying it?  When can I slip into dreamland?  Did I blow out that candle?  I hope Dave emails me back.  What time does the bakery close?  I wonder what Sandy is doing.

Then the alarm buzzes.  I’ve failed the nap.

3. Saying good-bye to people has never been a gift of mine.  I moved to France without so much as bon voyage happy hour.  One night I had an early dinner with my family as my mom cried, and then next think I knew I was at Newark about to start a life abroad.  You’d be in a hurry if you had to go to Newark.

Looking around my apartment, I now realize that I’m so wretched at saying good-bye that I simply avoid the process in all aspects of life.  Is there a reason I have three pairs of Converse with holes in them hanging out on my shoe rack? Yes, I can’t say good-bye.  And those stacks of school papers accumulated over two years?  Can’t bear to part.  And that moldy pumpkin puree I the fridge? Separation issues.
I'm not a hoarded, I just hate good-bye...
Maybe someday I’ll be good at these things, but I embrace my inner failure, and when 3PM rolls around, I’ll just have to stick it out and push through it.  Just don’t ask me to hang out in the afternoon, because I didn’t have my nap and you know I can’t say no…