b033GUEST BLOGGER: STEVEN STAY

Steven Stay is too tall to sit comfortably in most chairs.  In his dream house, the seat of every chair is five inches higher than seats in the outside world.  Also, he’s happily married.  He and his wife are the parents of <1 child.

I’ve been reading a lot of Orson Scott Card and Brandon Sanderson novels lately. Their protagonists are beyond gifted; they’re masterminds. They understand everything and everyone. With their piercing intellects, they see exactly what needs to be done, how, and to whom, and then they act, leaving everyone stunned by their brilliance.

When I first read Ender’s Game as a teenager, I ached to be Ender. He was capable, insightful, tough… everything I wasn’t. I tried to imitate the way he thought, but I couldn’t see through people’s actions to their motives. I tried to speak how he spoke, but I didn’t have the vocabulary for it, and I really had nothing important to say. I wanted to do great things, but I just ended up playing a lot of computer games, and you can bet none of them developed into omnipotent artificial intelligences from the sheer stimulation of interacting with me!* So to save my pride, I told myself that there weren’t really people as complex and competent as Ender. Nobody really went around changing the world like he did. I could rest easy believing that everybody else was bumbling along the same way I was.

Then I went to college, and discovered that all my new friends were Enders. Honor students! Poets! Dreamers! Leaders! Masterminds! I attached myself to them carefully, and then spent most of my time secretly worrying that they’d discover I wasn’t one of them. I knew they’d never ostracize me; they were too nice for that. No, they’d probably just let me tag along like a little brother while they told jokes that went over my head and alluded to great works of literature I’d never even heard of, let alone casually critiqued. I acted like I was capable of doing great things and thinking great thoughts, but deep down I knew they were operating on a different plane.

And a decade later, I still feel that way. I’m jealous.

Oh, I know in my head that what really matters in life is love and integrity, etc., etc. I’ve known that since I was a kid — well before I ever discovered Ender. But I must not really believe it, because every time I read one of my Ender-friend’s well-written blogs or hear how they’re out changing the world, I see the gap between what they are and what I am, and it makes me sad. It makes me miss the days when I could fool myself into believing that all the truly great people in the world were just bumbling along like me.

You are, right?

Bumble bumble?
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