My laptop had issues, so I made a a Genius Bar reservation at the Apple store. (Genius = the computer smartees who stand behind the counter and answer your questions about computer-y stuff. Also it just took me three tries to spell ‘genius.’ I felt the need to confess that).
On the day of my reservation, I show up with my laptop and a handful questions about some stuff and some things. I pull out my MacBook, open it up in front of of the Genius, and start to explain my woes.
He is kind and patient and doesn’t call me stupid. As I’m talking, I notice how filthy my keyboard is under the perfect computer light of the Apple store. I mention this and think for sure he will take my laptop to the back room and wash it with some super special Apple-grade, Steve Jobs approved washer cloth.
This is not what he does.
Instead, he pulls out an alcohol wipe from a plastic container behind the counter and swiftly wipes my keyboard clean. It looks new in three seconds.
No magic Apple grade washer cloth.
Just a simple, cheap, I-bought-this-at-Wal-Mart alcohol wipe.
I’ve had a filthy keyboard for weeks, months maybe. But I didn’t know what was safe to clean it with. So I left it dirty. Filthy dirty. Like a kid.
In that moment, I realized something I’ve known about myself but continue to learn with maddening regularity: I make things too hard.
For a long time, I did this with writing. I’m not a real writer. Real writers already know how to do stuff. Real writers get picked. Real writers don’t doubt themselves.
Those kinds of thoughts ruled the day. Until a message built up inside me for so long that my desire to get it out of me outweighed my fear of doing it wrong.
As it turns out, I actually am a real writer. And I don’t need a decree from the King of Words or magic dust from the Writer Fairy to tell me so.
You actually are something, too.
You have something to offer.
There is a trail of beauty just waiting to be left by you.
And you don’t need permission, from Steve Jobs or anyone else.
Q: Are you waiting for a Genius to tell you that you already have everything you need? Are you making it too hard? What are you waiting for?
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life.” 2 Peter 1:3
By Emily Freeman, Chatting at the Sky