I’ve received many gifts over the course of a lifetime. A Strawberry Shortcake doll. Homemade doll clothes. A friendship bracelet. Breakfast in bed. Flowers picked from the yard. Homemade blankets. Cookies. Little notes. Kind words. Books. Trips. Time with loved ones.
When thinking of gifts, it’s easy to focus on things I can remember someone giving me. But I’ve also been given gifts I don’t remember getting. Life. Love. Talents.
Talents are a strange sort of gift. Like love, they are best appreciated when they’re shared. But how do you know what talents you have? You can’t see them. Often they don’t seem obvious.
Of course, there are the lucky few who seem to have it easy. They discover their talents young and don’t look back. For the rest of us, it’s not so simple.
Growing up, I had a lot of hobbies and interests. It was hard to pick one thing that I admired/ liked to do/ did best. I still feel like I’m trying to decide what direction to go in. Will I paint more portraits? Edit those novels and try to do something with them? Submit more cartoons to magazines?
And what of the less obvious talents? I’d like to be kinder and a better listener. I’d like to remember people’s names and be on time for things.
It’s hard to know where to direct the little time and energy I have. How will I best use the gifts I’ve been given and share them with others? Which gifts do I really have?
In the past, I’ve tried to make lists. I’ll write down the things people have said I’m good at, things I like to do, things I wish I could do. I think of the things I hate to do. What’s the opposite? Do I want to do that?
I’ve asked people close to me what they think I’m good at. This is not as helpful if you ask them for three words that describe you. Then you get answers like “hermit” which aren’t helpful at all. Trust me.
At this point, my plan is to choose a talent or two to focus on. Then I find little ways to use, develop, and share my talent. Baby steps. The joy I’ve received through trying to develop my talents is yet another gift. Talents are gifts that keep giving the more you share them. Like love. Talents are strange like that.
What is the best gift you’ve received? What talents do you have? What talents do you wish you had? How do you develop and share your talents?