I am scanning in a folder of old (junior-high and high school) papers and creative writing that appeared on my bookshelf. I figured the mementos would be, if anything, safer and better preserved in a backed-up electronic form. We do live in flood and hurricane country, after all.
As I skim the work, I am concluding that I was a better writer between the ages of 12 and 17, than I am today. Not that I was an especially great writer then, but I think I’ve gone downhill since.
Meanwhile, this month’s book club book is “Now, Discover Your Strengths”, which is one of those personality profile books where take a little quiz that tells you how to live your life and then read a book about the quiz results. One of their contentions is that we start with a brain that has many diffuse neuronal connections, and over time you lose some connections in favor of reinforcing others. They maintain that this translates on a macro scale to a lifetime of losing some skills in favor of strengthening others.
I want to disagree simply because I don’t like the idea of losing skills. But – if they’re right – what skill have I gained in return for the loss of my writing skills? And how can I parlay those into a career I really love, instead of just tolerating on the good days?
(Why yes, that’s a glass half-full thought but it IS Thanksgiving… why be pessimistic?)