BRILLIANT BUT NO LONGER FORLORN

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.

Today, because we bounce from word to word with the energy of one of those magic super bouncing balls, we are brilliant.

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?

42 thoughts on “BRILLIANT BUT NO LONGER FORLORN

  1. angloswiss January 9, 2018 / 1:11 pm

    Of course you are brilliant. Even if you are not a family member, you can still be brilliant. I had to chuckle at that remark. That seems to be international “they fired everyone who wasn’t a family member”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong January 9, 2018 / 1:26 pm

      I tried not to take that personally, but it happened rather frequently and it felt pretty personal. But that is what happens when you work for VERY small companies with limited resources. They take care of their own. I wasn’t their own.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Garry Armstrong January 10, 2018 / 12:32 pm

        Great and, yes, TIMELY piece. So comforting to know our country is great again, led by a BIGLY genius. We are indeed fortunate. Genius and Madness — lip synching our beloved National Anthem.

        Like

    • Marilyn Armstrong January 9, 2018 / 1:27 pm

      And I loved it — mostly. I wish I’d realized how important money would be. Oh well. A bit late now.

      Liked by 2 people

      • swo8 January 9, 2018 / 2:23 pm

        As long as you have food on the table, a roof over your head and the people you love around you, you’ll be okay.
        Leslie

        Liked by 2 people

      • Garry Armstrong January 10, 2018 / 12:34 pm

        I was top of the world, Ma, at P.S. 116. You could look it up.

        Like

  2. Covert Novelist January 9, 2018 / 1:22 pm

    If you ask me, brilliant and brilliance lay in enjoying your life, and life experiences, not being a cog in someone else’s wheel. Your witty, entertaining, a great writer, an exceptional friend. Now THAT is TRUE brilliance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong January 9, 2018 / 1:27 pm

      Maybe it is, but I sure wish it would occasionally make me a little bit … richer? Just a little bit?

      Like

      • Covert Novelist January 9, 2018 / 2:22 pm

        Yep, I agree with you there. I’ve got a good brain on my head too, but it never amounted to $$ just well, richer in other ways shall we say? lol They say money doesn’t buy happiness, but I’m willing to give it a try! at the very least! snicker snicker

        Like

    • Garry Armstrong January 10, 2018 / 12:35 pm

      Covert, was “My Brilliant Career” a bio movie about a certain cheeseburgerhead?

      Like

  3. freelocute January 9, 2018 / 1:31 pm

    You are truly brilliant and an achiever in life , most importantly because you are not forlorn!! That is the biggest achievement anyone can ever have

    Liked by 2 people

    • Marilyn Armstrong January 9, 2018 / 2:07 pm

      I definitely have forlorn moments. What makes me brilliant is that I’m smart enough to SHUT UP about them. Sometimes, the highest form of brilliance is knowing when to be quiet.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Garry Armstrong January 10, 2018 / 12:36 pm

        I like the way you think.

        Like

  4. Martha Kennedy January 9, 2018 / 1:45 pm

    I’m supposed to be brilliant, too. Not as brilliant as my brother and we know how THAT turned out. In the segregation of the public school system, I was in rooms with people who grew up to be rocket scientists and stuff. I actually thought LIFE would be FILLED with those people, that those people were average people, but whoa was I ever wrong. I didn’t “do anything” with my brilliance, either. 🙂 And I’m glad.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Marilyn Armstrong January 9, 2018 / 2:12 pm

      Yes, that IS a problem. It’s how I married a stupid man because I didn’t understand that his silence was actual stupidity. I’d never known anyone genuinely dumb. Silence was just … silence. It was when I realized he didn’t understand things, even when carefully explained … couldn’t read the books I read because they didn’t make sense to him that I began to realize how devastating a mistake I’d made.

      It’s one of the little issues of schools that they put all the people who are smart in one group and all the other in another. I’m sure it make teaching easier, but it doesn’t give us a realistic grip on what to expect “out there” in the “real” (real?) world.

      For a very long time, my life WAS filled with mostly brilliant people — and today it is, mostly again. But when I moved away and was just one of a random bunch of people, it was a whole new life experience. Some of those dummies were MUCH more successful than I was. Lacking brilliance, they worked harder on things I found boring. Go figure, right?

      Liked by 2 people

    • Garry Armstrong January 10, 2018 / 12:38 pm

      Martha, we’re ALL brilliant! Now, who’s the most brilliant of all? Don’t be shy…..

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Willow January 9, 2018 / 2:02 pm

    Brilliance and riches do not go hand in hand. There are plenty of poor geniuses mucking about and quite a few rich people who are dumb as rocks. I point you to our glorious leader.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong January 9, 2018 / 2:14 pm

      I suppose it’s a matter of where your brilliance lies. I wasn’t all that interested in money. I never really minded not having a lot of money. It’s only now that I realize having a bit more would make life easier. I never thought about getting old. How many young people DO think about getting old anyway? I’m sure some do, but not me.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Willow January 9, 2018 / 2:34 pm

        Same here. Money has never been my number one goal, or even my second or third… but it does come in handy I’ve found.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Garry Armstrong January 10, 2018 / 12:39 pm

      Willow, brilliance and riches definitely do NOT go hand in hand. I’ll testify in court.

      Like

  6. Fandango January 9, 2018 / 2:27 pm

    What app do you use to turn your photos into what looks like pencil sketches?

    Like

    • Marilyn Armstrong January 9, 2018 / 2:33 pm

      It is one of a bunch of Topaz filters. I’m pretty sure this one is called “Simplify.” It does painting, line drawings. I really like it because sometimes, under all the rest of the picture, I SEE a line drawing. this finds it. They also now have an actual studio and it isn’t expensive at all. It comes with all the different filters, but the full filters you can buy as you need them. I use it as an extension of Photoshop — really, PS is just it’s “place to stand” so to speak. I like the way Photoshop (it’s an OLD version, by the way — the kind that came on disc) saves stuff, sizes, things, crops and aligns pictures. But you can use Topaz Studio without another application. Check it out. It’s kind of great.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Fandango January 9, 2018 / 3:06 pm

        Is it available as an iPhone app, since I so rarely use my Window laptop anymore?

        Like

        • Marilyn Armstrong January 9, 2018 / 3:18 pm

          I don’t know. Go to their website. I know it has a number of forms, but I’m not sure it would work in such a limited space. You might need to use the laptop for photography. Awfully hard to edit without ab it of acreage.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Fandango January 9, 2018 / 3:17 pm

        I found an app in the App Store called “My Sketch,” which does similar line drawing transformations. Cool. And it’s free!

        Like

        • Marilyn Armstrong January 9, 2018 / 3:18 pm

          Free is good. I got Studio free when it was just out and no one wanted it. I’ve been waiting through all their updates and sometimes, they update several times a day, but with each update, it gets better. I loved the filters even before Studio, which is why I was willing to test drive it.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Garry Armstrong January 10, 2018 / 12:40 pm

        You’re a GENIUS!

        Like

  7. Manuela January 9, 2018 / 11:53 pm

    Of course you’re brilliant! You realized there was so much more to life than money and corporate greed

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong January 10, 2018 / 12:09 am

      That’s how I felt back then. These days, I wish I’d been just a little greedier. Turns out, money is very useful, especially when you are retired 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      • Manuela January 10, 2018 / 12:22 am

        Well yes. I work for a company that doesn’t have anything for retirement either. I try to put as much away as I can for that while still maintaining a balance of enjoying life. We don’t know how long we’ll actually live after all. I did buy property and have no children so I hope that will be enough for when I retire. But I also live in Canada which is a much more socialist country than America. I guess in many ways America promotes the American dream AKA the corporate greed 😆

        Like

        • Marilyn Armstrong January 10, 2018 / 12:50 am

          All the company’s I worked for had no money for anything but salaries and sometimes, not even that. I didn’t worry about it. I never imagined retiring. Turns out, retirement came a lot sooner than I had intended and I was completely unprepared.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Garry Armstrong January 11, 2018 / 12:47 pm

        yA THINK, pROBIE?

        Like

  8. lwbut January 10, 2018 / 2:31 am

    This explains why i like it here… we have a lot of similarities in life. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. evilsquirrel13 January 10, 2018 / 12:15 pm

    I was one of four people in my grade school class who was deemed to be “gifted” and entitled…. er, mandated to attend a special class once a week where we did “brilliant” things that geniuses would enjoy doing…. like playing stupid computer games or doing stupid word problems. I’m pretty sure they made a mistake… or the whole process was just random since I’m pretty sure at least one of my fellow geniuses was actually an idiot. But, hey. It got me out of regular class for a couple hours every week…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Garry Armstrong January 10, 2018 / 12:44 pm

      Squirrel, my genius peaked when I so provoked and enraged Drill instructors during Marine Corps basic training that I became top ranked in latrine and KP duty. BIGLY genius!

      Like

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