Nothing Special

You wake up one morning and realize you're not as special as your parents and teachers told you you were

Category: Support for Special People

My relationship with the woman who comes after me at therapy.

It started with eye contact. And no this is not what you think—one of those “connected eyes on the subway moment and wondered if our lives would be forever intertwined even though I’m fairly content” moments. That may be my next piece. No, this woman is probably a half-generation ahead of me–a safe distance.


She usually has papers/magazines on either side of her on the couch, which means she hasn’t fully embraced the digital thing. Slight bags under her eyes; a Jewish bubbe-esque nose that’s not large but just a little curved and time-worn…maybe a touch waxy like plastic fruit. Our therapist is Jewish. I know this not because I’ve ever discussed it with her, but because she will sometimes let me know when she will have to miss a session, or a series of sessions, and then those dates just happen to line up perfectly with Jewish holidays. So it’s this unspoken thing we know. I wondered once if she ever took actual vacations, and at one point she told me she’d be gone for a longer stretch, on both sides of a weekend!—but I looked it up and it turned out it was just Simchat Torah.

My co-therapee has a scarf, spectacles (I believe they’re spectacles), above which she peers at me when I come out, in a soft, non-judgmental and maybe slightly maternal smile. I’m not sure if she has kids. She could. Or she might be someone who has reached this point in life without—and mostly she’s just fine with that and sometimes she thinks ‘what if?’  Hence therapy. We all think ‘What If?’  And a purple parka—not a natural purple like peacock or iris but a lighter, mauve purple that is the hallmark of a Century 21 or Woodies, if Woodies were still around.  Her hair is mostly blond, with maybe dark underneath. It seems she’s recreated the color she most liked her hair to be but doesn’t always bother with the upkeep.

So it started with eye contact and a little knowing smile, that always has a touch of “what are you in here for?” which people in a therapist’s office always silently ask of each other.

I go to therapy before work. How is she able to take this later mid-morning spot?  Is she retired?  Is she a stay-at-home person. Does she blog? Is she Chocolate-Covered Katie?? No, that’s a pert young Reese Witherspoon-esque beauty…or is she?!  Could someone stay that thin when they’re always coming up with new chocolate recipes?  Really?!  And would you have time to come up with a million ways to use applesauce and almond flour to make your fudgy brownies only 500 calories each instead of 550 if you were young and pert?  You’d have that much time?  Or…would you be an older lady in a mauve parka who reads paper magazines, goes to therapy during morning work hours on a Wednesday and then goes home to research and write up HUNDREDS of recipes for baking chocolate and chocolate substitutes?  And if that were the case, mightn’t you find a shutterstock photo to put up as your picture, of a pretty, Reese-Witherspoon-esque smiling gal, since you know you’ll already have the female/baking enthusiast/gay/cultured crowd, but the demographic you really need in order to go viral is the teenage male hetero crowd!  Then again, if you were my friend, the mauve parka lady, would you be that savvy about your online metrics and audience?  Or would that be your son who works on that for you (Or in this case maybe your nephew or niece)??  Hmmm.

Anyways, it started out with eye contact.  A smiling sigh.  A kind of, here we both are.  What’s that Paul Simon song, “say aren’t we in the same spot at the same time on the very same day?” There’s no hiding what we’re doing here–saying we are meeting a friend or have a ‘thingy’ to go to before-hand.  We are both at the shrink’s office and there’s just no getting around that.  So there’s an automatic relief.  A conspiracy.  Does this woman like me as a person?  Do I remind her of someone?  Does she feel a kind of need to take care of me and let me know it’s OK?  Is her name Beatrice?  Katherine (hence Chocolate-Covered “Katie”)?  But Katherine is not very Jewish and that would throw off some of that speculation.  Let’s say Beatrice or Rachel.  Actually Beatrice isn’t very Jewish at all!  Didn’t Dante write all of his poetry to Beatrice?  Well you can bet she wasn’t Jewish!  So where did I get Beatrice?  And actually Rachel is too Jewish, almost like you’re trying to overcompensate.  The truth is I have no idea what her name is, just like I have no idea if she has kids or if she likes me at all. The truth is I know very little about her, other than that she sees my same shrink, has a parka, reads, and is extremely patient. She’s always just sitting there on the couch, looking up from a magazine, even if I’ve gone several minutes long. It’s the total opposite of the look you get at Starbucks if you get to the front and don’t know what you want.

And I will say our relationship has grown.  I recently started to return the smile.  Or at first I nodded, as if to say, “Yes, I have received your smile and acknowledge the similarity of our circumstances, at least in terms of our choice of therapy.” But at some point a nod, after maybe like twenty weeks, starts to feel a little impersonal.  So I added a smile back.  Not a big booming smile, but one appropriate in measure to the one she’s been giving me.  ‘I have received your smile and I return your smile because we know we are co-conspirators of the same cult, and our particular leader is a soft-spoken Jewish woman of 30s/40s range who, when we might meekly ask when would be a good time to talk about stopping, returns the question with, “Why do you think you’re asking this now?”

This morning I said “Hi.”  Not just a smile, but a “hi.”  A month ago we weren’t talking.  Now we are saying “Hi.”  Next month we’ll probably be talking about “This is Us” and having other cultural experiences together.  I actually saw a billboard today for a clothing company on the way to work, “RESPECT ALL CULTURES,” at 36th and 8th Ave, and I thought, that would make a great slogan for a yogurt company!  My parents always thought I should go into advertising.  An ex-girlfriend was told the same thing by her parents.  At one point we wanted to open up an advertising company called “Our parents always told us we should go into advertising,” but the relationship didn’t last long enough.  Clearly I did not take my parents’ advice.  I actually didn’t go into any ‘thing’ thing, where you go to an office and work regular hours and produce results.  I write and do a million other things that tend to encourage chaos.  I wonder, if I had gone into advertising and had a steady job, and was more (air quotes) productive, if I wouldn’t be at therapy so much, talking about how I want to be more engaged and productive.  But if that were the case, I also would’ve never met my friend sitting on the couch when I come out, whom I’m now saying “hi” to and progressing further with, and of course I would have never written this.  Which means that my whole life has been leading me to this moment.  It’s nice when things feel so meant to be.

What does she talk about in there?  Does she get chastised by the therapist for trying too hard to be a ‘good’ analyzant, instead of just being herself?  Is she made to see how she’s so concerned with “making it” that it gets in the way of her actually making it?  Or, is she worried that her cat talks to her but refuses to do so when other people are around?  It could be any of those things.  Life is very hard and very sad, and ends badly, so there’s always something to talk about.  Is therapy working for her?  She seems so relaxed before her session.  Can she get any more relaxed after?  Does our therapist spice up her life rather than calm it down?  Does our therapist prefer listening to her or me for 45 minutes?  Because you know she prefers one or the other.  Therapists are human though they deny it.

I guess the most important question is, does my friend here feel like she’s becoming happier from therapy? Or…maybe an even more important question is, “Why does everyone have to be happy?”

Why do we just accept this as everybody’s goal in life? Aren’t people different? Let’s imagine, to use a hypothetical, that a cat decides to go to therapy because he can’t stop chasing mice. Nature or nurture, whatever—he can’t stop chasing mice. Through therapy, he questions why he wants mice so badly. What is it going to bring him once he catches the mouse? And once he does, won’t he just want the next mouse? Is the construct he’s created for himself, “must get mouse,” working for him? In other words, is it making him more happy/successful or is it getting in the way of that happiness?

The cat goes to therapy for years, and it’s a very good shrink, who’s cured his friends of all kinds of things—crinkly plastic, yarn, dog food, and general curiosity. He starts to feel different. He cleans himself up a little and takes care of his whiskers. He puts on a suit and goes to work. If he thinks he wants a mouse, he just gently sets that thought aside. He meditates and starts doing daily writing exercises.  He tells all of his friends how great he feels, and how the introspection is opening up new worlds to him and breaking him out of cycles. Every now and then he wants a mouse, but he gets better at not engaging with that voice (which of course comes from trying to be as successful as his father and isn’t really his voice anyway).  He stays in therapy, because you can always, always grow, and lives a very happy, contented life. But if he does all this, and even if he feels happy and more engaged with the world and cat humanity, is that happiness tinged by a little dishonesty? And that pleasant and contented cat, who dresses well and no longer thinks so much about mice, who no longer feels the need to “win” at everything and stand out, who has finally stopped “chasing” whatever it is he was chasing—because it was never really about mice—if all of that is the case, would he really still be considered a cat?

I wonder if my therapy friend thinks she’s getting more fulfilled.  Or just less hungry.


Failing Hard

It’s been some time since our last post, but little has changed for we who suffer from “specialness”–except perhaps that the world is catching up.

One such revelation that, like “Specialness,” did not spread instantly–if it did admittedly spread easily.

Many of you have no doubt seen this very late-to-the-game piece from the New York Times about colleges who are finally trying to cushion the blow for those who enter and realize they are not as special as life has led them to believe.  To note, this apt description by Smith student Cai Sherley,

We all came from high schools where we were all the exception to the rule — we were kind of special in some way, or people told us that…So you get here and of course you want to recreate that, but here, everybody’s special. So nobody is special.

To which we at Nothing Special reply, “Duh!”  In truth we are thrilled that the world is catching on to this phenomenon we isolated and named at the beginning of the decade, and that it’s doing so at a faster rate than for other historic revelations, such as the heliocentric model, natural selection, and squeeze cheese.  We are glad that Smith College, during final exam period, created a projected screen of public failures for all to see, including this one from a literature and American studies major,

“I drafted a poem entitled ‘Chocolate Caramels’…[which] has been rejected by 21 journals … so far.”

At the same time we totally understand why this poem has been rejected 21 times, as it’s truly a terrible title for a poem.

by Mark Anderson, from

Smith’s initiative, called “Failing Well” and clearly inspired by OUR VERY FIRST ENTRY, in which we coined the term “Fearless failures,” actually awards its students, upon joining, a “Certificate of Failure,” which declares:

You are hereby authorized to screw up, bomb or fail at one or more relationships, hookups, friendships, texts, exams, extracurriculars or any other choices associated with college … and still be a totally worthy, utterly excellent human.

We at “Nothing Special” are still not sure we entirely agree with this.  We are extremely protective of our status as “non-failers,” especially in areas like extracurriculars which we so carefully accumulated in high school in order to get into college, college in order to continue to impress people, and after college because we are still trying to impress God-knows-who that we are deeply committed to freeing Richard Gere from letter writing campaigns tested on animals.

Still, we can’t fault Smith and other colleges for trying to convince students that there’s more to life than being a stand out, even if we’re still not sure exactly what that is.

Mr. Romney’s very thin veil

Mr. Romney's very thin veil

a Not-that-Special moment for the campaign…

The moment you take the adult side of things–ugh.

When we get down to it, we have to face the fact that much of the realization that we’re not that special coincides with the

Puck.   The ultimate child–read Special Person.  By Jecca Koch.

realization that we’re not kids anymore.  This can happen at any age, and can happen multiple times, but this morning it hit me particularly hard.

The truth is that kids are Special.  They are this way because they think they’re special–they don’t realize that the world is made up of not millions, but billions of people, with problems, challenges, triumphs, intelligence, accomplishment, that is on an exponentially greater scale than their own.  And this is actually something we love about kids.  They live like they own the world, as they should.  Certain exceptions apply: Anne Frank, Steve Jobs, and this kid.  These and others like them not only thought they were special–they were actually that special).

This morning I was listening to Z100 in the morning.  If you’ve never done this, good for you.  If you have, you might know of something called getting “phone tapped,” which in Z100 speak means getting set up to be crank-called by the station.  Here’s an example of one in which a high school senior, Ashley, gets Danielle from the station to pose as a school administrator, call Ashley’s mom, and report that Ashley won’t be graduating.  Trust me; this one, as painful as it is to listen to, is one of the funny ones.

This morning, however, I had my…there’s no other way to put it…adult moment.  Some kid got Danielle (I believe) to call the kid’s dad and pretend to be a girlfriend with whom he’d just crashed the dad’s car on the highway.  [Note how even my language, “Some kid…” reveals my old-man bias]  The father listens in horror as “Monica” tells him how she was fooling around with his son, which led to his son getting into an accident somewhere on ’95, that no one’s hurt but the car is totaled.  She then she starts singing along to the radio.  I tried to find parts, any parts, funny.  I felt a little twitch up in my mouth when Monica started shushing the Dad, who was swearing at her, so she could hear the song that was playing.  In some sick way that was, yes, comedy.  But I had to accept a fact.  Not a single shred of my personality identified with this kid, or this station, or this type of humor.  All I could do was think about the Dad and what he was going through, how his son could put him through that kind of heartache just for a radio prank.

And many of my readers will agree with me, which is as it should be.  But I don’t wholly agree with myself.  We can feel superior as adults for having empathy, compassion, common sense, decency, whatever Jeffersonian term of our choosing (who was more adult than the Founding Fathers?).  But we’re also losing something when we cross this threshold.  We lose the feeling that we’re the most important people in the world, that the world is placed here for us to enjoy, to love, to twist and mangle and then put back together.  We lose our Puck and take on Oberon, and while that is natural and good, it is also, in another real sense extremely upsetting and sad.  A door is closing behind us and we can never, ever go back to the room we left.  It’s aroom where we were the center of it all, where laughter ruled, where a fall night could mean a meal up in a tree with a neighborhood friend, or a summer could mean dirt, sun and friends, instead of work, e-reservations, childcare, self-improvement, and all the great things that come with being an adult.  It’s going, going, gone, and we have to deal with that.  But we can still shout to the rooftops that we’re not happy about it!

I’m wondering if any FOOS (Fellow Occupiers Of Special land) would like to share a moment when they felt utterly, hopelessly, bitter-sweetly but undeniably…adult.

A short film named for us!

still from "Nothing Special"

Presenting my son Jesus

Rarely has an artist captured the pain of “Specialness” so eloquently as does Helena Brooks in her Cannes-featured short film, “Nothing Special.”  In it, Billy’s mother literally believes him to be Jesus.

FOOS (Fellow Occupiers of SpecialLand), like Woody Allen is to neurotic narcissism, and Spielberg is to stories about lost children meeting aliens and/or robots, so Brooks is the modern-day chronicler of Specialness.

This film is for us! (and the title’s not too shabby)

Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn

We have to give a big shout out to our friends at OTBKB.  Being aware that “Specialness” is a syndrome that affects Brooklynites at a particularly high level, they featured us last week and helped spread the gospel of mediocrity.


The newest from the author of “Prospect Park West,” noted on OTBKB

OTBKB is a blog that covers “hyper-local” Brooklyn–the arts, politics, urban planning, parenting and on-the-spot news, edited with pizazz by Louise Crawford.  While its focus is the local, there are pieces that take on the broader world too; for example, this excellent write up of Reverend Daniel Meeter’s new ebook “Why Be a Christian (If No One Goes to Hell?).  I first met Rev. Meeter during the heady Howard Dean campaign days.  He talks about religion in terms of compassion, mutual respect, and the increase of civil/human rights.  Imagine that Mr. Ralph Reed!

We strongly recommend a trip to this great and diverse blog.  Then, once you’ve learned about all the amazing, cultural, active things going on in Brooklyn, and you feel completely overwhelmed that you should’ve created/planned/or at least attended them–hence decide to crawl back into bed, come back and see us!

Getting Fired from Johnny Rockets

You…are firing me??

Not everyone can say they’ve been “let go” from Johnny Rockets.

Your Nothing Special editor was in the Summer between his Sophomore and Junior years of college.  I was working as an intern/indentured servant while living at home in Maryland and needed some actual money to do anything.  They hired me at Johnny Rockets, Bethesda, which you may remember for its art-deco diner architecture and pull-out straw containers.  My managers were 1) Dawn, maternal and tender, 2) Cora, filled with utmost loathing for my guts.
It’s not exactly clear what set her off.  She would steal my tables.  She would glare at me.  One time, while I was mixing a malted, she yelled from the back room, “Daniel!”  I turned around to reply “What?”  There was silence in the restaurant.  Cora beckoned.

“First of all, don’t you EVER respond ‘what’ when I call your name!”

“What should I say?  I don’t understand.”

(Cora is off to take a table)

Smile of Death

In addition to having some problems at home, Cora may have had other reasons to resent the new employee.  I was sometimes slow.  I was headed back to college (Yale:() in the Fall.  Worst of all, I didn’t do every requirement of the Johnny Rockets handbook.  I didn’t like to pour the ketchup smiley face, figuring as a client I’d rather pour my own ketchup.  I didn’t like to automatically lift the circular straw dispenser for customers either.  If they wanted a straw, they’d take it.  I didn’t always have my white paper hat on straight.  I did, for the record, willingly agree to sing the select songs when they were played on the jukebox, and all in all I was not the worst waiter in the world (though my own mother and brother were kept waiting for a LONG time when dining and have never forgotten).
One day, about a month and a half after starting the job, I came into the back hallway to see that my name was not on the schedule for the next week.  Dawn was on duty.  I went to her matter-of-factly.

“Excuse me, Dawn? There must be some mistake.  I am available to work next week.”

“Daniel.  Why don’t you come into my office.”

And the tears started.  Just faintly at first–the nose twitch.  Then unhideable.  Dawn was very nice about it.  She said it was predominantly that I was the most recent hire. But there was no way to really soften the blow.  For a Special person, there’s only one thing worse than being fired.  It’s being fired from Johnny Rockets.

This is not “I lost my job at J.P. Morgan during the financial downturn,” or “I got busted because of an accounting scheme I came up with as CFO but really I’m pretty smart to have even been able to even understand what it is I did.”  This is not being let go from a school because of Mayor Bloomberg’s budget cuts or getting beaten out for a medical residency at Mass General.  This is being let go from a burger joint where they pour ketchup smiley faces.

As a small final remark, you’ll notice that Johnny Rockets Bethesda no longer exists, whereas Barnes and Noble, Bethesda, which did not fire Daniel but which he left on his own volition, is still going strong.  My dad has always said this is karma.  I don’t know if firing me was the sole reason Johnny Rockets Bethesda’s had to fold, but let’s just say it didn’t help.  As for Cora, wherever she may be, I thank her for teaching me the lesson that sometimes people dislike you for no clear identifiable reason.  And also that you’re not that special.

I invite my Fellow Occupiers of SpecialLand (FOOS) to use this sacred space and share with us any experiences you’ve had of being fired from a place you never thought you’d want to work in the first place.  Let the healing begin.

Next week in Nothing Special:  Wanting at some point in your life to have an email with disclosure/privacy warnings at the bottom.

Disruption: Where Specialness meets the Business World

Clayton Christensen–pioneer of the Unspecial

In reading an article on business guru Clayton Christensen from the May 14th Issue of the New Yorker (oh don’t pretend that you’re current with your New Yorkers–one and a half months ago isn’t so bad!), it became clear to us how prevalent the idea of “Specialness” had become in our culture.  Yes there are the outward signs, such as David McCullough Jr. proclaiming “You’re not special.  You are not exceptional” to graduating seniors which we’ve discussed here, but there are also more subtle signs, such as those that appear in Larissa MacFarquhar’s article.

Utah’s Emblem

What do you think a master of commerce like Christensen, famous for the 1997 book, “The Innovator’s Dilemma” which became a bible for organizations from Intel, to Microsoft, to the Pentagon, would have to do with our humble blog?  A hard-working Mormon who grew up poor in Salt Lake City and chose Brigham Young over Harvard, the Biz Wiz doesn’t seem to have any of the tell-tale signs of specialness.  (Remember that the emblem of Utah is the beehive, a colony where all workers are equal and must work for the good of the whole).  But that is exactly what helped Christensen come up with the key insight that would make him famous: disruption.

It goes like this.  At some point, no matter the industry, a cheaper, low-end product will come along that disrupts the high end (think cell-phone cameras and how they disrupted better quality digital cameras).  The disruptive technology product is always technically inferior than the market leader (VHS, Hyundai, or Christensen’s favorite example, rebar produced by mini steal mills) and sells for a lower profit margin.  Almost always, the higher-end product is happy to concede low-end business to these scrappy disruptors, as the giant integrated mills did to the mini mills; only later do the high-end companies realize that the disruptors have climbed up market and swallowed them up.  It might not seem like a revolutionary concept, but laying the argument out in print was enough to convince hundreds of top companies to set up scrappy, autonomous sub-shops on separate continents to “disrupt” themselves, rather than letting a competitor do so.

Christensen’s ideas extend to our personal lives as well.  He compares today’s companies’ tendency to outsource and forget the basics, to the way some of his students are being raised today.  While Christensen and his wife bought “two wrecks of houses” where his children learned to sheetrock, plaster and paint, he understands that may of his current (read Special!) Harvard Business School students would consider these skills unnecessary.

“Wanting their children to spend their extracurricular hours in the most profitable way, [parents] would pay for lessons and smart, enriching activities, and they would outsource the low-end, dumb tasks like mowing the lawn and mending clothes, and the children would grow up without knowing how to solve practical problems by themselves, or do something they didn’t enjoy or thought they weren’t going to be good at.”

Raise your hand if you don’t know how to sew on a button!  Or if you remember one of our most terrifying and gut-wrenching posts ever on this blog, Putting up a Shelf Using Winged Anchors!! (psycho music plays).

Of course none of this means that every parent must put his kid through shop class (that will come in a later post).  It does mean that as parents and teachers, we must encourage our kids to be disruptors: to not be precious about what they create: to value work done by the electrician as much as by the movie star, even though the electrician’s paid less.  If we raise our kids to know how a shoe is made, not only how to draw it and write poems about it, we remove so much fear of being incompetent, inadequate, or unspecial later in life.  Kids learn to be comfortable thinking outside the box when they understand what’s inside the box.  They will dare to disrupt their own thoughts of Specialness with seemingly “dumb” ideas that actually come from a practical place.  They will be like the tiny, independent company Apple sets up in Finland to take all the knowledge Apple has and create something simpler, easier, more practical and eventually market dominant.

Even in Christensen’s mistakes lie the proof of his theory of disruptions.  According to MacFarquhar, he was laughed at for thinking that the i-phone was doomed–too fancy for the cellphone market.  What he didn’t understand was that the i-phone wasn’t going to be disruptive to the cellphone market.  It was going to be disruptive to laptop computers.

“You Are Not Special” commencement speech


Higher Authority on Specialness

This high school teacher, David McCullough Jr., has truly been reading our blog.

On June 7th, McCullough Jr., a Wellesley High English teacher, proclaimed to students:

“You are not special. You are not exceptional…
Contrary to what your u9 soccer trophy suggests, your glowing seventh grade report card, despite every assurance of a certain corpulent purple dinosaur, that nice Mister Rogers and your batty Aunt Sylvia, no matter how often your maternal caped crusader has swooped in to save you… you’re nothing special.”

He even took our blog title!

Despite the fact, though, that he’s clearly been influenced by us, and the fact that he drags our dear Baltimore Orioles into a discussion on marriage  (“statistics tell us half of you will get divorced. A winning percentage like that’ll get you last place in the American League East (The Baltimore Orioles do better than weddings)” he none the less has given a remarkable speech.  He has taken the moment expected to be a high point of self-confidence and achievement, and stuck a needle in the balloon.  Among my favorite lines of McCullough’s, “Even if you’re “one in a million,” on a planet of 6.8 billion, that means there are nearly 7,000 people just like you.”  These kids would be very wise to listen.  If only he had spoken at my graduation.  Wait a second–I spoke at my graduation!  And I told everyone we could be special so long as we stayed in the Zone…  I might have contributed to making us feel more special.

From Editor’s high school graduation speech, “The Zone”:

The zone is the state of mind where nothing else matters except the present.  You are completely alive in the zone, stripped of what [GDS improv/mime teacher] Andrea Oram would call the “coulda woulda shoulda.”  There is no “I should never have worn these socks,” or “If I had only stuck with my first  impression and gone to Harvey Mudd, everything would have been different,” or “I shoulda written about something else—this speech is really  lame.”  It is, in its purest form, an incredible natural rush, a feeling of success, confidence and satisfaction with the way life is.  Do you know that a baboon lives its whole life in the zone?  Sure—it can’t doubt what it did yesterday, or worry about how awkward its conversation is going, or think back to when it was in is prime—it’s far too “unintelligent.”….

We are all Hamlet, beating at the doors of the zone, but pushing ourselves farther away with each knock.  None of us knows exactly how to obtain the zone, but that doesn’t mean we won’t get there.  As I get older it becomes so much harder to get in the zone[1] but when you’re there, what a rush!  You are pitching, or playing the violin, or holding hands, or watching “Evita” or doing math, and you slip through the bounds of time into [James] Joyce’s horizontal universe.

[1] Wait till you’re past 30.

Ignoring the pretentious James Joyce reference for the moment, look at how I told everyone that as long as you can stay in the moment, you will live in that special Zone, and you will be joyous.  What about all the time when you’re not in the moment?  When you’re not feeling great about yourself?  When you can’t take a step without thinking, “Why did I choose that?”  “Why didn’t I go for that?” Why don’t I come through?” “Why is everyone else better than I am at this or at least more organized?” What do we do then?  David McCullough Jr., in his high school commencement address, takes on this issue.  David McCullough Jr., I bow to a higher authority.  I humble myself before thee!  Just as you say, I am not speeeeciallllll!

Something to strive for

The Onion has once again written a piece that goes to the very heart–pressure-filled, desiring, unsatisfied green heart–of our Special condition!

As Long As My Child Does Something That Makes Him Happy And Wins The National Book Critics Circle Award For Fiction, I’ll Be Proud”


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