Cricket, my 8-year-old, tells me that she has written a really good adventure book.
“Sounds good,” I say, “Bring it here so I can read it.” But no, she doesn’t want me to read it, she just wants to know how she can get it published.
“You should talk with your Nana,” I tell her, “You know she has published a few English literature textbooks. I’m sure she can tell you how.”
“Awesome,” she replies.
“And you should ask your Grandpa too. He’s published several journals on aerospace physics, ” I continue.
“Huh?” she asks.
“Just call them this weekend and ask away.”
“Cool!” she practically screams with all the confidence in the world that she is well on her way to publishing her first novel. I marvel at her sense of entitlement, that she can do and have anything she wants, and hope that it stays with her as she gets older.
I remember having that same sense of entitlement as a child. My parents instilled a You-Will-Succeed-Because-You’re-Our-Child-And-That’s-Just-How-It-Will-Be attitude in me and my siblings. And hence, we did succeed, in spite of ourselves. I carried this attitude, that by then had developed an edge of arrogance, into early adulthood. It served me well as I navigated the murky waters of post-college life, but I remember the precise moment when I was stripped naked of all that chutzpah and fell flat on my entitled arse.
The Mister, who was The Fiance at the time, began taking golf lessons. He was about to graduate from B-school and wanted to round out his repertoire by getting his golf game tight. He suggested that I take lessons with him. I agreed, mainly thinking I’d look absoloo adorable in a Ralph Lauren golf skort. Mind you, I’d never picked up a club in my life, but of course I’d be fantastic, why shouldn’t I be? You just hit the ball with the club. ¿Es muy fácil, sí?
I couldn’t hit the ball to save my life. I sucked. Big time. It confused me to no end that by sheer will I couldn’t have what I wanted, which was to beat the Titleist socks off of my fiance on the green. With every lesson, I grew more and more embarrassed, and more and more discouraged when I showed no signs of improvement. It sounds silly now, but at the time it was a huge crushing blow to my ego. I was very angry–at my parents, of all people. Didn’t they tell me I would always succeed? And if failure was even a remote possibility, why didn’t they prepare me for it?
Several years and humbling life lessons later, I still have some shadows of that brash sense of entitlement. Except now I know that, indeed, one can do and have anything one wants. One just has to work one’s arse off to get it—and even then, it may not work out. $hit happens, you know?
I thought of this life lesson yesterday when I came home to an almost dead, newly potted herb plant. I couldn’t understand why it happened, and felt like a failure for it. I quickly recovered, laughed at how silly that was, and logged onto Pinterest. Anyhoo, cheers to those who have their souls crushed but keep coming back for more. I still suck at golf.
- Empty a bag of gummi bears into a container.
- Pour in enough vodka so that the gummis are completely covered—and then some.
- Cover the container, put it in the fridge, and leave it for 3-5 days.
Do you truly feel entitled? Where does that feeling come from?