I have friends who are soccer players. I have friends who are dancers. I have friends who play the piano.
It seems like each of my classmates have their one thing. That one thing they are really great at, whether it’s soccer or cello or dance,etc. And trust me, I’ve tried them all. Dabbling in all kinds of activities over the years, I have become what I call a floater, a person who doesn’t have a go-to activity.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. There are some definite benefits to being a floater. I have met a lot of different people who do things that amaze me all the time. I have never understood the hand- eye coordination my friend Jackson has when he plays the piano. I tried to play the piano, but a year into it, I got bored and gave up. Now the extent of my piano ability is Heart and Soul. My friend Maggie, a dancer, can casually sit in the splits. I can barely touch my toes.
My mother says I am “well-rounded,” but the feeling that I am just not very good at anything lingers – a disadvantage of being a floater. There seems to be this unspoken pressure from society that I have to find something and excel at it.
The hardest part of being a floater is getting out when it goes wrong. If for some reason there are enough girls that swimming becomes a cut-sport and I get cut; I won’t talk about it. I will just avoid it. When I don’t get cast in a show I will just avoid the awkward pause after someone tells you “better luck next time.”
This year I decided to add a new activity to my list of endeavors: swimming. I have never swam competitively, unless you count Prairie Village Piranhas two summers back. Every Monday and Friday I drag myself down to the East weight room for 6 a.m. conditioning, praying that I will be decent enough when tryouts come around that I don’t humiliate myself. I find comfort in the fact that usually swim is a no-cut sport.
My little brother is 5’10 and 13 years old and gifted when it comes to sports, unlike his big sister. Being the overachiever that he is, his first year running track, he qualified for nationals in addition to to being the quarterback for his football team I much prefer being the cheerleader when my brother is kicking butt on the basketball court. Throwing the ball to the person who would actually score was how I spend my elementary school basketball career.
I have discovered over the years I’m decent at and enjoy theatre, but I still don’t know if it’s my niche. I was in Grease my seventh grade year, and had a lot of fun with it, so I kept doing it. But I quickly found that there are really talented people in my grade who have been doing this since they were six. I was 13 when I did my first show, and once again I found myself lagging behind. Every week I my binder full of music to my voice lessons in hopes that I will be able to catch up.
I don’t know why exactly this has become a pattern for me, but whenever I try something new it seems to fade into my list of past activities rather quickly. I have tried many times and I figure that I will keep with this pattern until I find my thing. Until then, I will cross my fingers and hope that I make the swim team or succeed in whatever endeavor I take on next.