I grew up thinking that having no talent means that you’re no good. On television they always seek people who can stand on stage and sing or dance or perform, but I couldn’t even walk a straight line without stumbling and doing a pirouette was the last thing on my mind. School didn’t help me either; I got Cs in all classes and I was told to snap out of my stupidity if I wanted to make it somewhere in life. Either I had to get creative and go do something amazing, or I had to become smart and get engaged in maths or physics. I couldn’t figure out either. I felt like a waste. I sat at home watching Youtube-videos every day and never got further than to work at the local supermarket, putting things on shelves and helping customers find the milk. Everyone told me I needed a dream to follow, something to do in life, but instead of feeling encouraged I felt demeaned, their gazes glaring into my wallet every time they tried to judge my life.
But then Arthur came and looked me in the eyes instead.
Arthur was everything everyone wanted me to be; a good guy with an education who’d made it to television. Every night he popped up on a talkshow chatting about his newest projects within art, always being creative and critical and well-spoken. Serving him I felt embarrassed, being his age and still working as if I was a student, but when I apologised he just glared at me as if I was being idiotic.
“Life isn’t about talent or money or what you do,” he said and poked the name-tag attached to my shirt. “It’s how you feel, Alfred. Do you feel okay?”
I did feel okay. I worked in a sweaty uniform nine hours a day, I lived in a small flat with cheap furniture, and I went to town every weekend having a few drinks with friends at a local bar while watching the game on television. I had no money, no dreams and no exciting future, but I felt okay. I felt content with life.
“Good,” Arthur smiled as he saw the grin which spread on my face, “isn’t that what really matters?”
I grew up thinking that having no talent means that you’re no good. But it just means you’re made for something else.