Sunday, November 19, 2006

Monday Morning Musing

You know something? Drew Brees and I are a lot alike. And not because we're both major superstars with loads of money and stellar reputations within the community. Though that's part of it.

Brees, one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, has overcome adversity and a new start, and throws for 510 yards against the Cincinnati Bengals. Despite this immense statistic, the Saints still lost huge, due partially to several interceptions. Like with Reggie Bush and Terrance Copper the week before, the biggest playmakers of the game are often the ones whose strengths wind up backfiring. That's gotta hurt.

I feel this way a lot. Life often reminds me of the movie Phenomenon, in which John Travolta's higher intelligence turns out to be caused by a cancer that created a unique circuit in his brain. Ultimately, it kills him. And while my own parallel is more metaphorical than literal (hopefully), sometimes I feel like my personal strengths will bring me down as well. Every day I ask myself these questions:

--What would make me happy?
--Would I be able to handle happiness?
--Why am I often afraid to take up opportunities?
--Am I wrong for wanting admittedly lofty things out of life?
--Am I my own worst critic?
--Why I am I so picky about everything?

One of my most-praised qualities is, and has always been, my intelligence. Much like Brees' arm, which can fire both 72-yard touchdown passes and heartbreaking red-zone interceptions, my strengths can be both a blessing and a curse. Writing has opened doors for me I didn't even know existed; at the same time, it has welded others shut. My sense of determination has wowed some and has appalled others. I know I'm hardly alone regarding this. The best most of us can hope for in life is that the good times outweigh the bad.

I don't doubt I'd be happier at the moment if I hadn't seen so much in life or if I found contentment in "normal" pursuits. But I guess I should be happy that I'm not happy. Brees and I both look good on paper; but ultimately, paper crumbles. Winning on the field is what really matters to both of us. No other result can satisfy us quite like that.

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