Saturday, December 08, 2007

Sunday Scribblings # 88

Another interesting thought provoking entry brought to you by Sunday Scribblings.

The subject....Competition.

On the surface, the prompt did not seem that relevant to me and my thoughts, life, my being. Yet, when I am scrounging around for something to write about I returned the site and thought, what was I thinking!! I have a long history with being competitive and have the scars to prove it!

It all began in grammar school in a small two room school house where I realized I would never receive the best grades in the class no matter what I did, no matter how smart I thought I was, no matter what the subject, no matter how hard I tried. Her name was BKA and I loved her as much as I despised her. I competed for the Nuns attentions, grades, who got to the swing set first, who ate lunch with who under the sliding board, boyfriends from the meager selection we had out of our class of seven, (of which five were girls)(meaning Tom & Mac were in great demand) with this pretty demure girl from the country, a farmers daughter. We even fought (because isn't that what competition will turn into when you are eight and nine) over who was our best friend. We traded Missy back and forth like we traded school supplies, (trading supplies was one of our great passions and a coveted tiny red pen that had three ascending bubbles on it, much like three marbles, was the highest prize of all changing hands every several days)(I am remembering this stuff from over 40 years ago, the attached emotion is still so raw). She left our school before eight grade and nothing seemed right in the school, like the earth had deviated from its axis.

After that it was competitive swimming where I excelled, which surprised no one more than me, in the back stroke. I was good, very good, but now I was thrown into a bigger pool (no pun intended) of competitors, much larger than my grammar school universe, and the best I could do was to place seventh in the state competition when I was a Sophomore in HS. Lost interest after that.....I remember my Dad marveling at how when we would all approach the start how I was the smallest, slightest, least muscular and intimidating of all...yet I would kick ass (my words, not his)!

Then I didn't care about anything for awhile because it was the 1970's and I was in college.

Then it was the 1980's and I had to return to college and get a degree while attending night school because I had messed up so bad during my first attempt at majoring in FUN rather than a degree. And man oh man, did I ever want to prove myself as a scholar. I could not believe how I coveted having the highest grades in the class.....and I mean the curve setting grades.....and how I studied and studies and studied.

I did okay and at times, I did kick ass in the class room too.

Everyday I spent working for the Beverage Company involved some type of competition. I grew very weary.

It is at this point that I should be able to reflect and have some profound ending summary about how winning is not all it is cracked up to be. How we all compete yet we all can't be Top Dog. How it makes you stronger to stretch and try. How it builds character.

Yet all I can think of is Dirty Harry's famous line....

"A man's got to know his limitations."

And learn to live with them.

14 comments:

homeinkabul said...

what a well-written post, this brings back so many memories for me. I was thinking of skipping this SS but you've inspired me...

paisley said...

i believe the beauty is found here in the fact that you revel in those memories,, instead of feel crushed or exonerated... in many ways life is an unavoidable competition... and the best we can hope for is pleasant memories....

Granny Smith said...

What a memory teaser! An extremely well-written post. Do you suppose we may all be competing when writing for Sunday Scribblings?

tumblewords said...

And Kenny Rogers - gotta know when to fold 'em...Nice post with lots of thought and memories encapsuled.

forgetfulone said...

Great post. Brought back memories of my own childhood competitiveness. Well-written, too.

Rob Kistner said...

Excellent post... and you thought you weren't competitive.

gautami tripathy said...

That competitive edge propels us forward.


Go Compete

Chris said...

This was a pretty good post on competition but I think the one that I wrote was better....

(Kidding of course, I didn't even write one.)

Patois said...

Yes, knowing when to fold them, knowing your limitations, absolutely required. I enjoyed reading that post.

SusieJ said...

What a great writer -- and it did bring back memories for me as well. This is my first SS, and I almost didn't take it. But I'm glad I did -- purely because of all the entires. Susiej

tickledpink.nicole said...

Your writing connected me with things I had forgotten. Thank you. And I LOVED the way you ended you post!

nonizamboni said...

I so enjoyed your story because at first I couldn't come up with anything either...and you reminded me of that old 'best girlfriend' back and forth stuff. Loved your philosophical outlook--good reminders all.
Have a great week!

ChaseNKids said...

That was so well written... it sparked a few memories. i love your Sunday Scribblings.

Mamacita Chilena said...

hahaha, I really wasn't expecting that ending, love it!

you are such a great writer, I envy the way you express yourself with such ease.

I've always been competitive. If I had written a Sunday scribblings off of that prompt, it probably would've been something like this...

I'm ruthless and out for blood in everything I do. I always want to be #1 and I'm mad if I'm not. The End.

Your post was much more through provoking :)