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Talentless (long read)

Posted by on 2018/04/14 under Life

I just want a talent. No, 'want' implies I am greedy and selfish – though perhaps I am – I would say 'need' more accurately represents my agonising longing.

Something I'm good at, is that so much to ask? Every human is skilled at /something/, then why not me? And I don't say this simply because I feel as though others are better at things than I am, it is not for lack of trying that I have no talent. I get to beginner level at best with everything I try, and can't seem to progress further even if I force myself to push on.

To prove this I could even list my efforts; briefly of course, and this is not all of them just the main ones:

My first dream was to become a vet, this was when I was young and hopeful. I studied everyday at the library, for my family was and always will be poor – back then we couldn't afford internet let alone a computer to utilise it. I would buy books on the subject of animal care after having saved up pocket money for months – most of which was stolen money from school anyway.
When it came to careers day in year 6 I was confident, I got work experience at my local vets and loved it despite my social anxiety. In high school for my first two years I took an animal care Btec, until I had to move schools and was no longer able to. Still determined and in my final year at high school I tried to apply for a college that would teach me to become a vet. I couldn't afford the tuition fee, and since it wasn't a university I wasn't allowed a student loan. By that point it was a lost cause anyway, my grades had plummeted from A's to C's and D's because of my worsening depression and I would've never been able to afford the transport if I did somehow manage to get on the course.

All throughout primary and high school I had loved writing narratives and books of my own, I have never been a competent writer by publisher standards and recently have given up on that dream. I didn't want to become a full time writer, just something to make money on the side whilst I looked for a job. It never happened, I have yet to make an income from anything ever. Compared to other people I know who write, my stories are at beginner level writing abilities at best. I try my hardest and put my heart into every page, but effort doesn't equal success.

Game developer is something I've always wanted to do since starting high school, but I always assumed I didn't have the intelligence for it so I never attempted learning code until year 10 and 11. My assumption was right. For years I had been studying and it just wouldn't sink in for me, I can't even write a single line of code and even when I usually give up I pushed on until I really couldn't solve it. I tried HTML since it was easier, but I genuinely think I have a severely low IQ and even failed that.

Becoming an artist appealed to me because I couldn't animate all of the ideas in my head when I wanted to. I've practised art at home since primary school, and took a few lessons in high school (but I dropped art because I was the worst in the class and my teacher would tell me that I couldn't even draw simple shapes and that people younger than me could). Ever since dropping it I barely touched it, occasionally drawing out of anger with the motto 'stuff it, I want to draw no matter how badly this turns out!' and my sketches were always awful. My sister, who is six years younger than me, can draw far better than I and she's taken far fewer lessons. 'Friends' in high school could draw professionally and were paid to do it; I was in year 11 and they were in year 9. I practise much more now, because I need to know how to draw if I want to get onto a university course. I have made zero progress and I'm scared.

Music. Inspired by my big sister when she would come home from high school and play the keyboard beautifully to a very young me. Ever since then I eagerly joined any music clubs I could to become a pro. I was kicked from my primary school club, and my music teacher in one of my high schools wasn't the greatest (he taught us nothing and never offered help). By the time I'd moved high schools again and applied for music I was years behind, I still can't play anything. I dropped music when my new teacher demanded a composition and gave me software I'd never used before to create it. She wanted it done by the end of the week and I knew barely anything about music.

Electronics, I took that up when I dropped music at the end of year 10. Circuits had always fascinated me and one of my dreams was to be a mechanic – so electronics would definitely help. My teacher offered no help even when I forced myself to ask, I did extensive research on the topics to catch up with the class – this proved helpful when I managed to pass the exams – but again, I still only know the basics and can't seem to comprehend anything more than that.

Animation. Another dream I thought I was too dumb for and thus never tried to chase after it. Not until I started college that is. With my terrible end to high school and no destination in mind I joined the creative media course at my college – simply because I'd asked to learn 3D animation and I'd been pointed to join creative media.
I wanted a fresh slate, I could pick my own course and I went with animation (after realising I couldn't /code/ a game I settled with wanting to animate one instead). This was also an escape for me to finally be able to animate the ideas in my head, because I sure as hell couldn't draw or write them.
In my first year I had no plans to go to university, I wanted an apprenticeship so that I could earn money as soon as possible and act on the promise 10 year old me had made – to pull my family out of poverty (my disabled mother couldn't, my elder siblings left as soon as they could to live better lives, my little sister can't and so I decided to take responsibility).
I flunked most of the first year, having no motivation and dealing with my now severe depression, anxiety and a detrimental extra personality that I'd had for as long as I can remember but who was now manifesting and becoming worse.
At the end of my first year, a few days before the holidays, my other personality had somehow gotten me a girlfriend – or rather gotten herself a girlfriend so that I would be lonely and smothered into non-existence. It was only when this girlfriend (who knew about my other personality by that point) confessed that she loved us both that I realised I'd loved her for a long time too. I dared not reveal my depression and anxiety in fear of scaring her off like it had done to close friends in the past.

We dated, she was the only person I'd had the confidence to tell about my other personality and she was perfectly understanding. God I don't deserve that angel of a woman. My second year of college was a great improvement from the first. I came in everyday, studied hard now that I wanted to go to university with my love, I'm almost done with my course but my crappy first year grades will no doubt drag me down.

My anxiety has gotten to the point where I have panic attacks for no reason and my depression is more horrid now than it has ever been. I am getting self help for both and I now have someone supporting me for the first time in my life. But even though I am supposed to be in a good place I'm still stuck at square one; I have no skills, no talents, nothing that will let me advance in the world. I've been looking and applying for jobs since I was 12, I've had a few hits but I've never been taken on. And now my mental health is hindering me in that field too.

I would do anything for a talent, something to be good at that I can use to live my life and earn an income. I try to learn a talent but it is clear that I'm incapable. I'm 18 soon, I have zero achievements to show for it, no job, no money, no motivation or hope, and I'm positive that my lover will become tired of me and my pathetic self pity eventually.

She is all I have left. When she goes, I do too. And that is a promise.

– TG

One thought on “Talentless (long read)

  1. Anonymous says:

    well thats always a tough place to be. Depression sucks. My best friend suffers from that. i believe we all have our talents. and u do too. you just have to find urs. most things dont come naturally u just have to stick with it and eventually u will get better. you can suceed with whatver u put ur mind to

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