A gifted individual is a quick and clever thinker, who is able to deal with complex matters. Autonomous, curious and passionate. A sensitive and emotionally rich person, living intensely. He or she enjoys being creative. -definition of giftedness written by the Netherlands Study on Giftedness in Adults

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Reflections on Growing Up

Yes, dear friends, it is happening. The kidlet, ahem, teenlet, is growing up. This summer has been remarkable, as we have begun to see signs of change that we've been awaiting for ages. The teenlet's asynchrony gaps are closing.

Change is never a smooth process. It is a sometimes jarring, sometimes invisible tornado that carries you along in its whirling. You may not notice much if you're in the eye, but shift ever so slightly off-center and you're caught up in a force to which you can only submit.

A school administrator once told me to expect this - she said that we would see a major shift at about 13. The teenlet still has three months to go before he officially becomes a teenager, but the change that has begun is remarkable.

I'm not just talking about physical changes - those are happening, too, but the emotional changes are more profound. I suppose that's because he had further to come. In a few short months, he has gone from a 7 year old maturity, to much closer to his real age. I can't even ennumerate the signs for you, but it gives me such hope. And I hope it gives you hope, too.

The teenlet won't ever be like everyone else. But now I can begin to see the adult he will be. And I like him. I like hanging out with him.

It's not all roses and butterflies, there is still much to do. But it doesn't feel so overwhelming for the moment. I'm enjoying.this place for as long as I can.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Giftedness, Creativity, and the Fear of Being Wrong

This post is part of the World Council of Gifted & Talented Children's International Week of the Gifted 2012 blog tour
Around here, creativity isn't something you do, it's who you are. The teenlet* and I are both high in imaginational OE, and some (okay tbh, it's most) days will find both of us lost inside worlds of our own creation. 

Cybraryman posted this quote on Twitter the other day during #gtchat, and it struck home to me. 

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”


So here we have our imaginational OE and our intellectual OE at odds - intellectual needs to be right; imaginational gets stifled by that need. I see it so clearly in the teenlet when he refuses to share his ideas with others because he's afraid of the criticism he's made up in his mind. We had a friend - a researcher and expert in biology - over recently, and the teenlet had said he wanted to tell her about an idea he had that could cure aging. When she got here, he wouldn't even give her the basics, just saying, "I think we could cure aging." He didn't want her to laugh at his idea, or tell him it wasn't possible.

I see it in myself as well, when I let someone's off-hand comment cast doubt in my enthusiasm over a new idea I had (even though I know those comments were intended to be supportive). 

Recently, I figured out that those key doubts that creep in and make me lose courage - those are the ones that I need to guard against the most. In my case, it's the sense of originality. I've been stuck in this place of not being able to write anything because it's all been said before. Feeling like I have nothing to contribute has been a huge place of fear for me, and has stuffed my creativity down into a crevasse so deep it was beginning to be crushed by the rock on all sides. But somehow (thanks to some special friends - Arash, John, Manal, and Sonia), I realized that it's my voice that makes what I say original. 

And then the creativity comes rushing back. 

So, as we are looking forward to the WCGTC's Year of Giftedness and Creativity, it is my hope that we will all find ways in which to let the creativity flow, to figure out where the stoppers are and pull them out. 

And may you find that the dragon you are trying to slay is really an alligator lizard. 

Not that I *ever* have dragons involved in my imaginary world. Ever...

*The "kidlet" has unofficially graduated to "teenlet" as his 13th birthday approaches. This is based on the food consumption, the additional sleep needed, and certain other indicators that suggest that he is moving into a new stage of life. Like growing an inch overnight last Monday (previously, it would have taken him 3 years to grow an inch! Growth has not been an area in which he has been hyper-accelerated). So one of my friends asked if he was graduating to teenlet, and I figure now is as good a time as any!