7 Things I’m Not Built For

The alternative title for this post is “7 Things I’m Truly Terrible At”. However, since I have accepted these so-called flaws, I like to present them as things I’m not built for. My inability to do these things does not make me “less than”. It just means my skills and attention are better dedicated somewhere else. As such, if you come away from this post with one thing, I hope you look at your “pitfalls” as things you are just not built for – not negative aspects that detract from the wonderful person you are.

On to the fun!

  1. Baking – The chemical science of baking doesn’t click in my brain. I don’t have the patience for sifting flour or making sure I’ve used the exact measurement of baking soda. Also, learning the difference between baking soda and powder was a game-changer for me. I much prefer the fluidity of cooking meals with recipes that can be changed without considering much science of chemical balance. My best friend (who is an amazing baker) and I once attempted to replicate a bread recipe from one of our favorite restaurants. The experiment failed miserably and the result resembled a gray brain mass more than a loaf of bread. While we never figured out precisely where we went wrong, I believe it was my mere presence in the kitchen that caused the attempt to go awry.  For the record, we still ate the brain-bread. It tasted just fine – but it was dense. Very dense.
  2. Keeping In Touch – Social media was made for me. I am terrible at keeping in touch with people. I don’t really like talking on the phone and like FaceTime even less. I may forget to text people back even after reading and considering their messages. I’m notorious for neglecting voice mails. Much of this I can attribute to my profession. I spend a significant amount of my time corresponding with people throughout my day. When I get home, I just don’t want to talk. I want to shut down and give myself a break. Don’t take it personally. I talk to my mom almost daily, always calling her as I’m leaving the office to chat over my commute home. If she doesn’t answer for whatever reason and tries to call me back after I’ve walked through my front door, I’m not answering. Not a chance. I’m in decompression mode and we’ll just have to catch up tomorrow. I value my personal time almost to a fault. In this respect, seeing my friends’ lives unfold on Facebook and Instagram has basically given me a short cut to keep up on their lives while expending minimum effort. It’s selfish – I know. But this doesn’t mean I don’t care about my friends. One of my friend’s 8-year-old daughter regularly writes articles for local publications in Ohio and I read every single one. Another friend is off charging a career as a public figure. I watch every interview he does and read every article he writes. I may not call them up to say, “Hey there! How’s the family?!” But through social media, I can stay peripherally engaged. Plus they all still get Christmas cards. That’s something, right?
  3. Competition – If you are a competitive person, for the love of god, never have me on your team. I know I’m really good at history and pop culture trivia, but I will seriously ruin your game. I am the least competitive person in the world. I’m known to give a hint or two to opposing teams during trivia games. I give extra points to people who are falling too far behind in games. I will even scoot your game piece forward a few blocks when everyone isn’t looking to keep everyone enjoying the game. I don’t understand being competitive with other people. (With myself – it’s a totally different story). Games are meant to be enjoyed and competitiveness ruins it for everyone. *Note: I will most certainly change my tune when my kids play sports. Everyone must lose and my child will be the best!
  4. Horticulture – My home is where plants go to die. The only reason I have anything growing in my garden right now is that San Diego has had an unusual amount of rainfall this year. I am a neglectful plant parent. Truly the worst.
  5. Ambiguous Plans – This is starkly different than being spontaneous. I can be spontaneous and fun. What I can’t do is make ambiguous plans. If we’re getting together for plans, there has to be some form of a game plan. There are few people in this world that I can just “hang out” with. Don’t be offended if you aren’t one of them. It’s not personal. If we’re meeting for dinner, let’s figure out where we’re going before I have to get dressed to go. If we are making plans for a day of shopping, let’s have a goal of what we’re looking for and/or what stores we’re going to. Inviting me over for dinner? Give me a specific time you want me to be there. I do better in life with some idea of what to expect in my plans.
  6. Faking Enthusiasm – I am one of the easiest people in the world to read. I am also one of the most authentic people you will meet. You always know where I stand. I will always tell you how I feel. Some would say it’s a fault and a virtue. Unfortunately, this also means I can’t fake enthusiasm when social convention would expect me to. I’m not much into other people’s babies. So when people bring their newborns into the office, I don’t immediately jump up from my seat to go ooh and ahh over the little bundle of joy. I won’t get giddy over your bridal or baby shower gifts. I’m not much into weddings as a whole so I won’t ask about all your plans, the flowers, your ring, your dress – not into it. I can’t bring myself to get overly hyped up for a work social event. These are just things that live inside me but also moments when my missing enthusiasm is noted. I come by enthusiasm naturally for many, many things but when it doesn’t come… eh. It is what it is. I will always be polite. But there’s a difference between having good manners and being enthusiastic.
  7. Being Graceful – I have spent most of my life covered in bruises from running into things. I don’t fall and have disastrous moments. Nothing dramatic like that. But I consistently run into the same countertop corner, leaving a deep bruise on my hip. I trip over my computer cord daily, even though it never moves. The other day, I closed a door on my forehead. My forehead! Yes, this really happened. I try to be graceful. I try to tap into my inner lady and watch out for sharp corners. But unfortunately, as I’m whisking about the house like a 2017 Donna Reed, I will inevitably ram my elbow into a door frame. It’s just who I am.
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