#SOL18 The entry below is my first draft of a personal essay I was modeling for my class about being “gifted.”
Use your talents. They are precious gifts given to you to put to work. ~Robyn O’Brien
I never really thought of myself as “gifted,” but it is true that God has gifted each of us with special talents or “gifts.” Each has some; none have all. God gave me several talents. He gave me the ability to create music, to be able to express myself well using the written word, and the ability to be a good listener. My talents are different than the talents he gave to my siblings, my friends, and co-workers.
I started taking piano lessons when I was in 4th grade. My friend, Eileen, played the violin. When we were in 8th grade, she suggested that I join the orchestra in high school. I didn’t play an orchestral instrument, but she said that it didn’t matter; they would teach me. So, I took the chance and learned how to play the string bass at St. Hubert HS. I was in the orchestra there for four years. I had a knack for the bass, and I auditioned for and was accepted into the All-City Orchestra in Philadelphia.
It was during high school that I really started to love music and decided to become a music teacher. I went on to Chestnut Hill College where I was again in the orchestra. After graduation I began teaching music and sharing my love of music with children in various schools. Some of those students went on to develop their musical talents and share them in different ways. I also used my musical talent at my church. For many years, I played string bass in church at mass and for special occasions like Confirmation, Holy Week, weddings, and funerals.
My talent for writing began in elementary school as well. I always loved to write and even won a contest in 8th grade. In high school I took advanced writing classes and had a personal essay published in the literary magazine along with a poem or two. I was always keeping a journal. I still have many notebooks today. I think that the best use of my writing talent comes when I have to write notes to people in difficult situations such as after someone dies, or when someone is going through an illness, or just having a rough time. I am not sure how, but it must be with God’s help, I always seem to be able to find just the right words to give hope or comfort to the person to whom I am writing.
At some point during my teaching career I decided that I really missed writing, and that I was being called to use it again. I went back to school and got certified to teach writing. Now I get to share my love and talent with students. I hope one day they will love writing as much as I do.
I use my writing talents to create poems for my grandchildren for their birthdays. I started a binder for each one of them. For their birthday they get a poem written especially for them and a handwritten letter that talks about the things we did together over the past year. I hope that it will be a memory book for them when they are older.
Lately, I am being called to share my writing with a larger audience. I have started a blog where I publish at least once a week. I have also made a commitment to work on getting my writing published. I have sent it to three different places so far this year. I have one rejection letter and am waiting on the other two. I am just going to keep writing away and hope that something gets published eventually.