Back when I was a kid, Mom would drag me along with her to get school supplies. Most of the stuff I didn’t care about. Crayons, however, were a different matter.
I wanted the big box, the 64 count. The one with the gold and silver crayons, and the sharpener on the back.
Mom smiled and told me we could only afford the small pack.
I fussed. I pouted. But I still didn’t get my mega-crayons. So I resigned myself to failure as a creative, and at so early an age, too!
School came, and when it was time to color, we pulled out our Crayolas. I remember how we looked this way and that to see who, if anyone, held the Holy Grail of Crayons. Most clutched the small size like mine. Except for the girl in the front row. We stared goo-goo eyed at her box with the silver and gold ones…with the built-in sharper…with colors we couldn’t even pronounce!!
“That’s NOT FAIR!”
“How come she gets it and we don’t?”
“Why is she special?”
No, we didn’t really say those things, but I know we all thought them. Instead, we shook our heads–discontent with our lot–while Little Miss 64 flashed a smug smile.
The next day, we walked into class and marveled at our drawings taped to the wall. Even as a kid, I learned a valuable lesson that morning. Those of us with just the basic colors had been forced to be more creative, while the girl with the countless colors wasn’t creative at all.
As an adult, I still have moments when I get jealous of other creative’s artistic or financial success. I become that kid who whines about not having so-and-so’s proverbial Box of Crayons, convinced, like so many of us, that it is the secret to success. I sometimes even think I deserve it more than they do. Boy, that sure sounds nasty when out in the open, doesn’t it, but it’s the truth!
So today, I’m going to use the crayons I’ve been given, even the broken ones. I’m going to smile, keep my eyes on my own paper, and let adversity spark my creativity.