Smarter than Me

The brain

The Brain

Recently I have adopted a tag line that I have felt for some time. Simply put, I don’t think anyone is smarter than me.  I guess that can sound a little conceited and self-important especially when spoken by someone who is still pursuing an undergraduate degree.  Millions of people across the globe can already boast the degree status that I’m seeking and even higher, MBA’s, PHD’s, etc… etc…  But I’m not talking about college smarts; frankly I’m not even talking about street smarts, because I would probably lose that battle against any two-bit scam artist.  After all, I grew up in a very small, rural town, complete with dirt roads and an actual “general store” (remember Little House on the Prairie! Yes, like that).  My greatest street cred includes being the fastest kid to run away from a bee’s nest after we pelted it with rocks.

What I mean when I say “no one’s smarter than me” is that after 42 years of living I have found that there are few people (strike that “no people”) who I believe have anything to hold over me in terms of basic intelligence and that more often than not even the most learned person that I have interacted with is a complete idiot about something very rudimentary in life.  For instance, I worked for a man once who is truly bright.  Well-educated, smart, sensible, direct, good leader, sense of humor but when it came to raising his 11-year-old son, he was an idiot.  The things he shared with me that he and his wife were letting their son get away with were simply moronic.  I would listen to him and think, what is wrong with you, this kid is going to be a mess and you’re letting it happen and thinking it’s going to somehow miraculously all work out.  Another friend of mine is a professor at an Ivy League college.  He holds multiple degrees and speaks three languages.  He’s been divorced three times and each marriage and interim girlfriend is worse than the one before.  A relationship black hole is what I equate getting involved with him to be like.  He professes that each one of these women is 1,000 times better than the one before and boasts pictures and texts messages and those uber annoying Facebook “selfies” showing how very happy he is with his new special woman.  You can set a watch for the downfall.  Within 6 months it’s already unraveling, inside of 9 months there’s a third party muddying the waters and before the clock strikes the one year mark it’s over in a Chernobyl style melt-down. And even before the nuclear dust has a chance to settle, he is back at it again with the next contestant making the same mistake time and time again.

BUT, even knowing all that and seeing the flaws in my friends, there are many times, like today, when I wake up and question whether or not I know what I’m doing and whether the choices I’m making are indeed…”smart”.  Sometimes I have to admit that I start to believe that the answer is “not so much”.

What I’m trying to learn through this journey is that I need to believe in me, see things from the broader perspective, understand that, I, like everyone else will mess up and make mistakes. I will muddle through them; I will learn from them; and I will commit not to continue to make them over again.  For the most part I live that way but I struggle with giving in to fear, self-doubt, other people’s opinions and their confusing double talk and mirrored intentions.

There are plenty of people who know more than I do about certain things but EVERYONE has what I like to call dumbbell baggage, the stuff they just aren’t good at and weighs them down.  So that being the case, how then could I ever think anyone else is smarter than I am?  I can’t.  Frankly, you can’t either.  Yes, I am still working on this degree, and will be for a while longer.  I know that in no way is it a reflection on my worth at my work, my intelligence, or what I deserve and should expect.   Yes, I often do things that make me shake my head in wonder and say, why did I give that person my phone number, why didn’t I cancel that appointment earlier and avoid late fees, why am I so indecisive about simple tasks.  I know that it’s just me carrying some extra heavy dumbbells that day.  I’ll unpack them, lighten the load and I’ll move on.

Today is a day, I needed to reaffirm “THEY are not smarter than me”…

…I got this…

In case anyone else needed to hear it ….this posts’ for us…you got this too.


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Kalia Kornegay

Freelance Journalist

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