Special strengths, talents, or skills?

I was filling in a form the other day. One of the questions was: What are your special strengths, talents, or skills? I try not to think too hard when I’m filling in forms because I don’t like filling in forms. I left the section blank.

It’s a good question, isn’t it? It’s asking about special strengths, talents, and skills, distinguishing them from regular strengths, talents, and skills. It assumes that you know what you’re especially good at when compared to other people. Necessarily, you need to know what the strengths, talents, and skills of other people are.

At one time in my life, I thought that I had a fairly good typing speed. It wasn’t the fastest but it wasn’t slow. I was one of the few people in the office who could type minutes while looking at whoever was speaking. That made me special.

I don’t know that I’ve ever had a talent. It’s hard for me to imagine what it would be like to be talented. It’s not a skill that I have.

I’m not very strong, either. People used to remark that I had a high tolerance for pain, but it was hard for me to put that into perspective because I didn’t feel enough. These days, the chronic pains that come with ageing are very apparent to me. I can’t lift anything particularly heavy, either.

Is strength the ability to tolerate pain?

To hear me sing, you’d think that you were listening to owls going through puberty. I don’t sing in the shower because I can’t carry a tune or multitask. I recently bought myself a pink lace bath ball. I use it with Dove Men Care body wash. I try my best to dismantle gender norms.

Thinking about it now, the question is poorly worded. Identifying something as special sets it apart. Aren’t we all just trying to fit in?

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