There’s this phrase I like to use to describe myself. It’s well known by many, but also misunderstood I believe:

“Jack of all trades, master of none.”

On the surface, this phrase seems a little poignant. You’re saying to the world: “I’m not really that great at any thing.” and that thought used to make me shy away from it. I was afraid that people would think I was looking down on myself, that I lacked confidence in what I talents I have.

When you start to dig deeper into the meaning though, something beautiful happens.

You see, I used to be jealous of the people out there who were great at something. They had this one thing that drove them further, this one passion, this one desire that kept them on track. They knew what they wanted out of life and they pushed toward that everyday.

And then there was me.

I’ve felt the call of music ministry from the age of 16, “This is it!” I said to myself. But I believe God had something different in mind.
At 19, in response to my love for art, I enrolled in art college for photography.
I kept my options open, I continued to learn what I could in the realm of music (A story for another day), and I continued to pursue the arts. I painted, I taught myself some graphic design and videography, I got involved in performing arts and discovered a love for musical theater, and I started writing. I loved it all. But where was my one passion?

I believe one of the hardest parts of life is choosing what to go after.

In fact, if there is one thing I’m great at, It’s probably self-awareness. The ability to not be able to lie to myself. To be able to see the harsh reality at all times without rose colored lenses. It’s more like a curse, really. 🙂

I look at every single one of those things I love and can truthfully say that I am not great at any of them.
Why? I would ask God over and over. Life would be so much easier if I just knew what I needed to pursue!

I slowly realized that maybe I wasn’t called to be great at any one thing. God began to challenge me… What was so wrong with that?
Did he promise me that ‘my calling’ would be one thing? Why should my calling happen like everyone else’s? Why shouldn’t I have many talents?

I’ve been so caught up in finding my calling, my special talent, seeking my passion, that I missed the point.

— — —

Today, I was thinking about the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30.

A master leaves money (talents) with three servants. Each servant knows their master is a certain kind of man. He values profit. Yet, clearly he values his servants enough to entrust them with his money. He gives one 5 talents, another 2 talents, and the last servant he gives one talent. He leaves for a while and comes back to find that the servants who had the 5 and 2 talents invested them and multiplied them. The servant with the one talent was scared that he would lose his money and be punished by his master, so he buried it.
The master returns and he praises the first two servants for taking what he gave them and multiplying it. But the third servant he scolds and throws out into the darkness for not having multiplied his one talent.
I’ll admit this story has always seemed a little harsh to me. I mean, he didn’t lose the talent, he could’ve went and spent it, but he didn’t. Was it so bad that he was scared that he would fail his master?

But I realized today that that’s not the point.
Multiplication of one’s talent is a side effect of one’s view of the master. The first two servants knew their master, knew that they had been given a lot of trust, and they knew the weight of what their task was. The third servant didn’t understand that. He let his misunderstanding of the master cause him to dwell on all the wrong things. He was more worried about the talent than he was worried about his master desires.

— — —

God has been showing me lately that I’ve had that one passion all along. That one passion is, and always should be, Him. He has given me many talents, and has entrusted me to use them for his profit, his kingdom’s profit.
I’ve felt that weight from the very beginning. But it’s so easy to become the servant with one talent. To get caught up in what I have to offer, maybe even comparing what I’ve been given with others, hiding my small abilities because they didn’t measure up.

God’s message in the parable isn’t that some people have more than others for any particular reason, his message is that no matter what abilities he has given us we should love him enough to want to use them for his gain.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that having more than one ability is better than having just one thing you’re good at. It’s all the same. As in the parable, it is not the amount of talents that mattered at all.

At the end of the story, The master tells the third servant that he doesn’t deserve his one talent, takes it, and gives it to the first servant. Then he says: “To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.”

I’m finding everyday that if my passion lies in my talents, then I am doomed to fail. But if my passion is for my master, the talents I have are just a tool to please him.
It’s a beautiful thing to be a jack of all trades and master of none. God has richly blessed me with abilities, entrusted me to gain interest for his kingdom. To be a master of nothing isn’t a poignant matter. It means that I’m ever learning, ever growing my abilities. And the truth is, I’ll never become a master of my talents. For my talents are not mine to begin with, they’re his. I am merely holding onto them, using them well, striving to increase them for my master’s hand.


In case you haven’t heard me bubbling about it over the last couple of weeks… I finally finished the first rough draft of my book: Beauty.
I had originally thought it would be a short story that I could potentially share over the internet, a glorified blog post. I soon realized that this story had a lot more pages than I felt comfortable sharing over the web, or because of it’s personal message to me, sharing it at all.

‘Beauty’ isn’t just any story. It’s basically a metaphor for what I’ve struggled with my entire life. A couple of years ago I overcame some huge obstacles dealing with low self esteem and self-worth.
For the first time in my life I felt beautiful. I no longer considered beautiful as being able look in the mirror and wink at the attractive face/body staring back. I no longer compared myself to others or constantly downed myself in my mind.

That’s when I started this book. I knew what it was like to be that girl, who was beautiful in more ways than one but never saw it. I wanted to challenge the reader to examine what they thought beauty meant in a completely non-confrontational way. So I used symbolism. I wedged the inner thoughts of my journey into the story of a girl and a boy, both in search for something beautiful.

In a sense, this book mimics certain aspects of my life for the past couple of years.
Without spilling my guts all over my keyboard, I will now give a small insight as to why this book is so special to me.
I wrote the original relationship between the two main characters out of sheer emotional release from the reality of something similar in my own life. I guess you could call it wishful thinking. Then, as the characters discover, I came to realize that what I was searching for wasn’t love or success or my future, I was searching for self-worth. Even after I had come so far, I still didn’t know what I was truly worth.

I’m not sure why it took me over 2.5 years to finish this novel. For a long time I knew exactly what I wanted to write, only I could never make myself sit down and write it. I was stuck half way through the story, with no motivation to finish.
During this hiatus, the reality I drew my inspiration from sent me through a few puke rides at a carnival. I receded to a place I didn’t want to go anymore, all the while trying to judge my own self-worth again. It took one last shovel full of mistakes before I hit rock bottom.

I was finally over it.

So I picked up the pen (or computer) again. This time writing with resolve instead of longing. I was able to finish it with the correct thoughts in my head, with the true meaning of beauty coursing it’s way through my veins.

The plot of the book turns out the way I had always wished it had, but I struggled invariably for quite sometime on whether it should follow along with the reality it was inspired from or not. I chose to stick to the plan, purely because I felt it needed to.
And like the magnificent assumption in the movie ‘Becoming Jane’, Jane Austen wrote happy endings for her characters because she would never come to one. Just because this particular ending didn’t happen didn’t mean a happy ending wasn’t deserved by the people whose lives I created on paper.

I wanted to leave you with something from my book, because it’s cruel to talk about it so much and never have let you take a peak.

“Beauty is witnessing the endless sky transition from a bright glow through hues of sunset and into darkness speckled with tiny pinholes of light. Beauty is creation. Creation of art, creation of memories. Beauty is destruction. Destruction of pride, destruction of self. Beauty is finding the very thing you were looking for right in front of your eyes. Beauty is gazing into the eyes of the one you love as they walk towards you, down a path of redemption and commitment. Beauty is anticipation, endeavor, and passion. But most of all, Beauty is love.”

Isn’t It Ironic?

Here’s an insight to a character trait about me:
When I’m in a situation that bothers me in one way or another, I laugh.

Take for instance, conversations about weight.
I’m by no means skinny, slightly unhealthy even, and I’ll go as far as to say that sometimes I disgust myself with my eating habits. Now, don’t get me wrong, I got over my self esteem issues a little over a year ago by the astounding grace of God. I don’t hate myself. In fact, I love who I am, and even though my weight bothers me, I find myself beautiful. Flawed, yes. But still beautiful. I find no help in lying about my being overweight, I’m just being honest with myself. Denial has no place in my life.
So when I laugh about weight jokes (None of them from people around me, most people are nice and tell me I’m not fat at all… which is more annoying that if you’d just tell me to my face that I’m overweight), it is simply a copping mechanism with what still bothers me about my appearance. I don’t crack jokes at myself to fish for a compliment or to make others pity me… I crack jokes because it makes me more comfortable in the situation, more comfortable in my own skin. I use comedy as a means to ease the tension of the blatant truth that everyone is obviously avoiding. I use my own flaws as a way to make others see that there really is hilarity in belittling the things that seem too large to mess with sometimes. (Delightful pun, I know ;])

Another example. The way God corrects me by slamming doors in my face.
I stopped getting upset about it a while back. I used to mope around for a week, argue with him about who’s right and get angry or jealous at the people in the situation.
Now, I laugh. I laugh at myself because I should’ve known better. I laugh because it’s usually an ironic hilarity that is involved and for some reason I find it funny that it should happen. Again. And again.
There’s no use getting all bothered about it, and there’s no use in crying over it anymore. I know what God is doing, and this wouldn’t have happened if I had just stuck to the plan.
Instead, I step out of his urgings and back into mine and wind up getting burned… I knew better, right? So this laugh can be a “HAH! This is PERFECT!” kind of laugh or simply a “Well, that figures.” kind of laugh.

With both of these things, they are highly ironic laughs. I laugh in spite of my situation and because of it. I seriously can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself laughing at a situation because I don’t know what else to do. So when you see me laughing, and you’re thinking, “Is this really the right time to laugh or the type of joke I should laugh at?” Yes, you should laugh with me. Please don’t make it more awkward than it already is.

If you’re posing with me in a picture and I get shoved in the front like I always do, therefore being closer to the camera, and when using a wide angle, causing me to look larger than everyone else… Just let me remark, “Why do you always gotta put the fat girl in the front?” Laugh, and let me hide behind the other bodies. Please and thank you.
Or if you see me laughing at a conflict, hysterical sometimes, being completely cool when I should be thrashing about in an uncool way… Just leave me be, and laugh at the irony that is my life. Please and thank you.

Enjoy it. I don’t want your pity, I want your laughter. =)