Tuesday, April 12, 2011

International Conference on Gifted Adults

I suppose I shouldn't write about this at all, because it was actually a fabulous conference. But I spent most of the day there crying. And it wasn't because I suddenly realized that I was gifted and that all of my strange idiosyncrasies could be attributed to that. No, I have known for a long time that I was gifted. Ever since I was tested while I was in elementary school and later when I went to full time gifted classes.

No, the reason I was crying is mostly because, in spite of it all, or perhaps because of it all, I feel like such a failure. Here, I was supposed to be in the self-actualizing stage or maybe one of the other stages that made each life stage seem like a new adventure. And I feel stuck back in trying to figure out who I am and what I want to do with my life. I have been a secretary, a teacher, a grad student, a computer scientist, a teacher (again), a biology researcher, a teacher (again), a grad student (again), a computer support scientist, a biochemist, and finally a teacher again. And maybe not in all that order. But I haven't lived up to any of the expectations I had of myself when I was young. I don't feel successful in any of my careers.

And, now I am unemployed, overeducated, old. I feel like I have a lot to contribute, but no one seems to want my contributions. I even had to work HARD to give away my children's book collection - 1112 books, that I finally managed to find a home for.

Unemployment and job seeking is painful. Each new rejection says you aren't wanted. And, though I can understand the reasons - my skills aren't exactly what they need and they have a huge number of people to choose from - rejection still hurts. Every time.

And this is the stage of my life when I am supposed to have figured it all out and feel that I am fulfilling my true self.

I certainly hope this isn't my true destiny. I don't like spending most of the day crying.


  1. {{{{HUGS}}}}}

    I would never have guessed you felt like a failure.

    I have always appreciated your comments here and on the TAG lists.

    Thanks for all you do!

  2. The thing is, I know that I really shouldn't feel this way, but feelings aren't as manageable as other things - they have a way of sneaking around all the intellectual defenses I can put up.

    I am, in general, an optimist and I know I will feel better soon, but I need to do something about feeling I am contributing. If I can't get a job, I will look for volunteering opportunities. Someone must want a teacher with way too many degrees - at least for free.

    And, thanks.

  3. Laura:
    As a fellow attendee of the conference and one that continues to wander, I say hello. Having many interests and pursuing them is ok. Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher might be of interest. Answering that question of your hearts contribution is a tough one. I know. I have done some serious serious reflection in the last 18 months (of course with a lifespan of reflection). I was at the point of hanging my hat on a "job" I have - it pays the bills, it lets me contribute. However, I knew being at the stage of Navigators, and knowing myself that this was not satisfactory. So letting go of my time table (letting go - chimes) and knowing I need to continue my adventure, my journey for my particular contribution is back in focus. The focus is not clear, the next step is. So honor yourself and decide what contribution you want to make versus what current circumstances may allow. Your giftedness is who you are and blossom with it. A cohort in the marshes of giftedness.

  4. The 'shoulds' we have in our lives are what keep us stuck. As long as we're focusing on what we thing we should be doing, we find ourselves disempowered and feeling terrible. As gifted adults, we are always in the process of learning and growing - that's a given - so if you could choose anything, where would you want your life to take you in the end? Focusing on what you'd love to do very often brings it at least one step closer.

    I hope you find your way.

  5. Wednesday/April 13th

    Hi! I don't know you or your circumstance really, yet maybe here's a clue to your having the even darker than usual blues. From your profile it reads that you are writing the blues from Boulder, CO. If this is correct, here's is the current weather there.

    Weather for Boulder, CO on April 13-16, 2011
    Current Temp is 41°F | °C

    [Are you getting enough Vit D? And exercise??]
    Current: Rain
    Thursday: Rain
    Sat: Partial Rain

    Wind: N at 0 mph [No wind? During the colder months in Boulder, Isn't there plenty of wood burning going on and it's subsequent air pollution?]

    Current Humidity: 87%

    Wed, Thur, Fri, Sat Temp
    50°F | 37°F 49°F | 29°F 56°F | 36°F 67°F | 42°F

    Its been a lonngg winter
    Anonymous in Seattle

  6. Thanks for the weather report.