Yesterday was a day for sadness and being forlornly. It was a day for mourning the loss of our dearest, the end of jobs, marriages, pets — and a shot at the World Series.
I am personally brilliant. I know this because at P.S. 35 in Queens, New York, I got a look at my I.Q. score which was so ridiculously high, it made me feel inadequate about the entire rest of my life. Discovering you are supposed to be a genius when you are ten can ruin the rest of your life.
All the other geniuses with whom I went to elementary school and thence Junior High, High School and eventually, college, became doctors and physicists. They studied law, became judges. At the very least, they made oodles of money. A few wrote novels … the kind that get published by actual publishers. A couple became Rabbis and others became Deep Thinkers and got jobs as professors where deep thinking comes with a salary and benefits.
I, on the other hand, messed around. I worked, but work never was my central thing. I wasn’t ambitious in any properly American sense of the word. I never expected to be promoted. I was surprised that I got paid so well. I might not have been ambitious, but I was really good at what I did, which was write the crap out of anything technical or sort of technical. Whether it was an article for publication or a manual for users, I wrote it and made sure anyone with half a brain could understand it. And I got paid to do it, which was nice.
Unfortunately, being the least corporate person on Planet Earth, I never got to work for the big companies where they did cool things like provide a pension. I worked for venture capital companies where someone had pitched a great idea and gotten the money to start a company. The companies inevitably lasted exactly as long as the money. When initial funding ended, they fired everyone who wasn’t a family member.
The owners went bankrupt which didn’t mean they were out of money, but rather that they reorganized and restarted under a new company name while the rest of us went job hunting.
So brilliant? Maybe, but what exactly does brilliant mean? It is no guarantee of success in the world. Brilliant may give you ideas and concepts, but it doesn’t necessarily give you business acumen or the kind of diligence you need to make an organization successful … or even make your own financial life a success. I am proof of how brilliance on an I.Q. test is just that. Great at taking tests … but as for the rest of life? That’s a different game entirely.
Yet — I’m a hell of a Trivial Pursuits player and I can write. I can even take pictures. And I can talk you to death. That’s sort of brilliant … isn’t it?