Of Pens and Procrastinating True Talent

I have a drawer of special pens that I don’t use.

The red and gold pen I bought especially for my red and gold journal with my allowance money. The fountain pen I won in a cursive essay contest in elementary school. The pen I got to learn calligraphy. The pen a sleazy sales person gave my mom after she got her dream job.

There are a lot of not so special pens too.

Pens with hotel names. Pens with mysterious goop on them rescued from unsavory places. Pens with neon cats and unicorns on them.

I also have a cup on my desk with pens I do use.

Except the pens on my desk are almost all weird or dying. They leak. The ink is blotchy. They are not the right colors. There are too many huge markers.

Want to know a secret?

My talents are like pens.

I have a special back drawer for my true, special talents. But I almost never use them. They are too special. I like to treasure them in a misty steam bath of sentiment. I remember them in the nostalgic light of the one special time when I chose to use them.

I am waiting for a special time to come to use them again, but I don’t want to damage them with daily wear.

That is why, instead of being used, my talents sit in a dark drawer with their ink drying out, dust slowly clogging them, mixed with all the unsavory things I’m good at that I don’t want people to know about – like shouting insults at glitchy video games or bantering in bizarre sexual innuendo.

Meanwhile, I display my crappy, newly acquired, spankingly commercial talents in a poorly maintained coffee cup.

These talents every job ad calls for, but no employer actually wants if he wants work done. These are the kind of talents that look good on paper. Then they have to be forgotten when it’s time for something to actually be accomplished.

Like the part of the McDonald’s job application where they ask 12 times if you are always happy, but not if you have the attention to detail to consistently give people the right orders.

They are like the fancy pens wielded by skater boys in commercials, but when you try to use them, they bleed through the paper and blotch the words.

So today I rotated my pen collection.

I greet the world with philosophy, insight, and weird humor.

Which parts of you are too valuable and shiney to use?

Which talents have you picked up from cool people on TV?

Try switching them out for a while. See how the world responds.

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