Why is it So Hard to Say What You're Good At?

Why is it So Hard to Say What You're Good At?

This post is part of ChicagoNow's monthly "Blogapalooza" challenge where bloggers are given a prompt at 9 PM and one hour to complete a post on the topic.  Tonight's challenge was, "Without trying to be humble, write about something you're really good at." 

My first instinct when answering what I'm good at is automatically; parallel parking.  In my warped brain I have answers readily available for almost any  and all kinds of questions, no matter how random or asinine they may be.  My worst trait: impatience.  My favorite number: four.  Who is my in case of emergency? My sister.  See, I'm prepared.

Parallel parking is also a nice way of being a tad humble because it's something that anyone can learn, so I'm not saying I'm special, or above anyone else, because that would be bragging and that's just not how I was raised (I accept and enjoy all compliments, but won't give myself one).  I can't remember who taught me how to parallel park, probably my driver's ed teacher, or when I became great at it, most likely it was my years of living in Chicago, and now street parking my car every night, but it's something I take great pride in.

As in, I won't get out of the car until it's perfect, as in, I will get back into my car in the dead of the night to make sure I'm as close to the curb as possible and the distance between me and the cars in front and behind me are equal.  I love driving by a spot, throwing my car in reverse and sizing it up to see if my car will fit.  And even when it's pretty obvious that it won't, I still attempt to do it because I like the minuscule chance that I'll squeeze in with a hair space between me and the other cars.

I told my husband about tonight's topic and what my response would be and asked what else would be a good answer, he actually paused and took more time to develop an answer.  He came up a few sweet things (there's a reason why I normally refer to him as "my Sweetie".)  He said I take care of him.  No, I replied, I don't cook for you, but he said I take care of him in other ways.

I mention the cooking part because I'm six and half months pregnant and finally realize that I'm going to have start learning how to cook and organize meals for my impending family.  He said that I take care of others and referred to a time a couple years ago when both my cousin and his wife were sick and I went over to their house to play with their two young daughters for a few hours in their basement while they rested.  Big deal.  I had a flexible schedule and actually like playing with little kids (something else I'm pretty good with, little kids).

I steered back to the car conversation (pun intended).  I'm a really good driver I told him (a sensitive topic for us because he thinks I'm reckless and often times can't control his need to tell me exactly what I'm doing wrong as I go sixty miles a hour on Lake Shore Drive).  "No, you're not, but you do get places quickly.  You're good at getting places quickly."  I do like a challenge.  So, halfway through this assignment I've managed to see I'm really good at things related to my car.  Great.

Here's a list of other things I'm pretty good at:

I'm good at imitating people, especially my mother.  She's a constant source of humor without even trying to be.  I like that I know her well enough that I can finish her sentences when she pauses for help.

My husband says when I want something, I have a laser focus.  I think that is his way of telling me I'm good at getting what I want.  I wish this applied in other aspects of my life (career, weight management, personal agendas)

I'm good at remembering random facts.  The fact that most of the time the information is related to a celebrity, the Kennedy family, or a news story about a kidnapping doesn't really help me in life.

Some might say I'm really good at making people laugh.  I'm good at visiting my ninety three year old grandmother.  I'm good at having conversations in my head where I tell people what I really think of them.  And most of the time I'm good at finishing assignments, like this one.

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