I have been watching TED videos and that never fails to get me thinking. I watched this one video by this super model ( Cameron Russell) and she said very honestly, I won the genetic lottery. Basically, she explained she had benefited from good genes in a time where tall, white, slender women are considered beautiful. And you want to know how you too can be a super model? Well that is your answer – win the genetic lottery. Why would you even want to be one, when instead of posing for a picture you could be or do anything else in the world? Think about the fact that Cameron always has to think about her body image because that is her career. Cameron further explained that the picture of the model you see on the magazine isn’t even her; that picture is the collaboration of a whole bunch of make up artists, computer touch ups, fashionista’s, and whoever else is needed to make that picture the way it is. It occurred to me then, that we have all in some sense won the genetic lottery. You may not think so, but there is no one like you in this world; there will never be anyone like you and there never was.
Maybe some stars shine brighter than others but everyone has a chance in this world a genetic makeup that makes them unique, that will lead them to a unique life and in the end a unique way of having lived. One could even go as far to say you were made you with your genetics for a reason as was this model. From the thoughts that go through your head, to your way of thinking and reasoning, to the way you treat your body, the time you live in, the people you surround or do not surround yourself with – that makes you special. Moreover, as a model is led to her type of work through a series of experiences related to her, how she looked, being at the right place at right time, so is everyone else.
I learned how to write well when I was 5 years old. I went into grade 1 being able to read and write far above the level of the average kid. In high school, social studies and English were my best subjects this was no accident as both those subjects involved written tests and essays. In university, I also went into English and History, and almost finished a philosophy minor. My theory, was that was history was literary and what’s literary is is historical; I believe they call this New Historicism in Literary Criticism. But I also believed what we thought, did, and wrote at a certain point in time was affected by how we were thinking, what we believed, from whom or what we were pulling our philosophies from. Take the Renaissance for instance, as a point in history with a philosophy of humanism and literary works that projected from that. All in all, I am saying I must have had some genetic predisposition to words and language that caused me to be good at the areas of English and History.
Not only did I find this predisposition in school but in the activities I liked to do and often still do. I love to read, to write in various forms – for the longest time I wrote journals of sort filled with poetry and later journals themselves. My one English teacher said that this was a good thing but after having suffered through mental illness I found it to painful to go back and rehash what I could no longer do or what I thought at certain unstable times, so I do not do that anymore. Now I blog, generalize a subject, make it less personal, and perhaps more useful to other people. Blogging led to writing for magazines, which led to taking a creative writing course, which will hopefully lead to other courses, to more written work, to a masters in Creative writing or something related; all I know is that writing is what feels right and necessary to me. So maybe I did win the genetic lottery to write.
I cannot say at this point in time if I won that lottery anymore than any other writer, probably not, but maybe. And each person has there own story that has led them through life to this point in time. Career wise we all have things we are good at and things we are not. It could be as simple as being the best office gossip, or the best note taker at meetings. It could be as complicated as being the best neurosurgeon in Alberta or the trendiest fashion designer in Vancouver. We all are blessed with a unique skill set for our jobs and situations in life. We all have purpose and have abilities to deal with more than we think. Even the model, who I watched on the TED video I cannot help but think she had or learned specific skills to work in the modelling world.
So what is your purpose, and skills set? What are you genetically blessed to do? What is your calling? These are all questions we ask ourselves and hopefully find answers to.