Must be a Genius

Someone once asked me how was it that I decided to become an artist.
Well, to be honest, there just wasn’t anything else I was good at.
When I was growing up, many a millennia ago,  parents did not want to believe their children were talentless fools. They searched and prodded their child’s brain to find at least one flicker of something resembling brilliance in any professional field such as arts, sports, science and so on.

It really was my own fault. I too was wrapped up in this idea, and I was sure I was a genius in waiting, or hiding, or whatever. I was convinced I was the real deal!
And thus started my misadventures in arts, sports and other thingies.

When I was in elementary school I saw this beautiful violin player on TV. So my parents got me a violin.


I thought I was really good.  So I insisted on a teacher.


My teacher was too sensitive to my virtuoso sound.


I literally blew her mind.
Well, okay, not literally.

So the violin was not for me. How about piano?


I thought I was doing rather well, even if my piano teacher didn’t.
I was in the moment, I felt the spirit of Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin move me!
I could feel the music running through my veins and …

…and then running away.


Apparently I was not musically inclined, and before my dad could buy me yet another instrument to torture, my mother signed me up for chorus.

Let’s just say, I couldn’t hit a right note if it stared me in the face.


But one good thing did come out of this whole search for musical genius.
I now have absolutely no inhibitions when I sing.

In the Shower.


On top of my musical escapades, I also tried my hands (and feet) at sports.

After all, I grew up in Soviet Union, the land of Olympic athletes. It wasn’t out of the realm of possibilities that I could excel at a sport. At least one sport.

So I started where every girl started. At a gymnastics class.


My leotard was specially brought for me from Hungary by my grandma Lia. I stood out, and although I might have thought being an individual was a good thing, the rest of the country did not.

They got rid of me by making me do a somersault….right out of the window


Next I took up tennis.


And I would have been good at it too….

if I hadn’t treated tennis balls like weapons of mass destruction.


Noticing that I was being overly physical with my sports, my mother had a brilliant idea of signing me up for karate. Where did she find a karate instructor I have no idea, but he was a an excellent teacher. Especially when it came to karate chop.
I might have overdone it a bit….


Chastised for breaking dining room furniture, I was sent out to join a soccer team otherwise known (around the entire world) as Football. It’s called Football because there are feet involved dammit. And a head from time to time. But nowhere are hands involved- in fact using your hands is a penalty. American football is not football- it’s kick a weird shaped ball once and then cradle it in your arms for the rest of the play. How is that Football?

Anyhow, don’t I look cute? I was a goalie.


I was bored out of my mind for 90 % of the game.


You’d understand if you saw the other team. Pitiful and embarrassing and no, they were not from Brazil….

You would think I would stop here and go home, but no, I tried again.

I tried running track


The important thing was that I tried….


Hey, some people can run for hours, others (me) need a motivation (someone chasing me with a gun). That did actually happen once in Chicago – I ran like I’d never run before.

I tried swimming.


Pitiful, eh? Grew up on the sea side and I’m scared of pools.

So I wasn’t going to be the next Maradona. On the bright side no cocaine addiction. Nor was I going to be the next Navratilova, although I was dangerously close to becoming another McEnroe. I also tried to become the next Peggy Flemming, but it was so pitiful, I couldn’t bring myself to draw it. Lets just say, I can only skate in one direction. In any case, all of this was quite disheartening.

I took to brooding silently in my room with drapes drawn, listening to Shostakovitch’s String Quartet No. 8 in C minor. I was on my way to becoming disillusioned eight year old.

But then my sister asked me if I wanted to go play ‘elastic’ in the park, and I was over it.


Sisters are cool. Most of the time.

If anyone is at all interested to see how the game is played, do leave a comment and if enough people ask, I will post a video.


6 thoughts on “Must be a Genius

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