What the gifted individual really needs.

You know what?

I get a smidge frustrated reading about studies of gifted individuals and how the more gifted the individual is, the more difficult it is to find peers and true validation. Not necessarily that I’m in disagreement with what they have to say. But…it’s just not that helpful to me.

There’s plenty of “help for the gifted” sites out there that have numerous resources. I have some on my blog. It’s not that they are bad (on the contrary, they are helpful and informative), but for me, they are missing something incredibly important.

What’s missing in a lot of ways is real life personal stories of others who are gifted from those who journal/document their daily experiences. I don’t want studies of nameless others who’s got it just as rough as I do in the friend-making department, or the statistics of how many underachieving, unrecognized gifted adults exist (I know there are many).

I want to peer into the mind of those who are trying to navigate their lives and their daily responsibilities as a higher-level thinker. I want to know exactly what their perceptions of the world are like, what their hopes are, and what their fears are, and how real life has interfered with the dreams of their youth, and how they persevere in spite of that interference.

There are scant few gifted individuals who open up themselves through writing about their experiences. To allow themselves to be weird, to share their thoughts uncensored, to document their perspective. I love blogging for this reason. I love collecting blogs of other highly intelligent and unique people. I love peering into their minds and having a look around.

[For the above reasons, I really enjoy shows like The Big Bang Theory, and Chuck, and The IT Crowd (on IFC), I feel so much in common with the characters and while on the one hand they make me laugh, I’d really love to hang around those characters for real].

I crave the human stories of angst and frustration and hope and striving towards self-actualization.

I found a few gifted people in real life over the years, only to have my life situation change so I can’t see them anymore (distance and death, and well…life getting in the way). So I set up an online home in my blog, Raising Smart Girls.

I’ve met a few incredibly inspiring people along the way through the internet, and am incredibly fortunate to have access to those people. I’m floored by a few of them. A 30 something mother of two who’s on the science operations team for a NASA telescope and constantly torn between her job and her children (and who I suspect I would sound a little like if I still tried to combine a science career and raising a family)…a writer and journal workshop teacher and mother of 2 trying to strike a balance with her passion and her family … a “40-year old single-parent-physician-turned-stay-at-home-mom with four very bright children”…a 50 something single out of work, incredibly funny and talented writer (somebody give Laurie Kendrick a JOB please….she does have talent and she’s funny, dammit)…an incredibly insightful gifted and talented male polymath who’s trying to navigate the social morass they call university…a 50 something philosophical guy trying to figure out “how so much suffering, ignorance and misunderstanding is leading those we love into a downward spiral away from true ecstasy of spiritual contentment” (and who really needs update his blog).

The stories of the individual make me feel so much less alone than any sterile study reminding me that, yeah, it sucks to view life differently, to be an outlier. Rather than tell me these things, that I already know…point people in the direction where they can find other real people, not hypothetical situations. Ideally, I’d love to see is more of the inner world of the highly gifted mind and how the deal with the trivialities of say, folding laundry (I mean, really, someone has to do it) when they’d rather be writing the greatest novel of all times or becoming the next Carl Sagan (yes, the more times I say Carl Sagan, the better).

The things these other higher level thinkers sometimes say ignite a fire in my belly…I must must must attend to the driving force that propels me forward forward forward into conversations that need exploration. They inspire me to think, to contemplate, to write, to share, to feel, to begin to believe that there is, after all that has happened, a place for me here.

I am acceptable.

I belong.

I love how I am.

****
I think, after I got done considering this…and in part because of this article about IQ and the Problem of Social Adjustment…is that there needs to be an intellectual match-making service in high school (or even before then). Every young person who is deemed gifted should be given a list of in real life and internet resources. Here’s a list of possible like minded groups you might join…here’s a list of blogs from real people you might enjoy, broken down by interests and areas of expertise, here’s a list of message boards, here’s a list of books about or from gifted individuals, here’s a list of biographies from autodidatic divergent thinkers that still managed to pull off a fairly fulfilling life, here’s a list of pen-pals in your IQ and age range and we can set you up with one, and here’s a list of possible mentors because every young bright mind needs a guide and every intellectual could do with some inspiring new ideas (a muse if you will). Who’s with me on this?

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6 Responses to What the gifted individual really needs.

  1. I thank you for your kind words and the link, Casey. I am in tremendous company and I am incredibly moved……
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    and STILL unemployed, damn it!!!

    Best,
    LK

  2. raisingsmartgirls says:

    You are very welcome, LK. I am in awe of the friends I have found.

    I hope good opportunities come your way. Let’s see if I can conjur up enough psychic energy to make it happen, in a “if you build it they will come” sort of way…or perhaps in a more mundane way – that someone will stumble across my blog and agree with me that you are as good as I say you are.

    Best wishes

    Casey.

  3. In keeping up with the “Field of Dreams” vibe:

    “Is this place heaven?”

    “No. It’s Casey’s blog”.

    Thanks again.
    LK

  4. raisingsmartgirls says:

    LK

    Aw shucks…but really, I ain’t all that (lest I be struck down by a lightening bolt from above for reveling in hubris)

    Big hugs mon frere.

  5. Casey,

    Another mindmeld! Check out my comment on the Gifted Life Forum – “what, if anything, do you DO with the challenges of being a gifted adult?” I wrote it BEFORE I read your blog. I suspect you’ll laugh. I am totally with you…we can go round and round – there aren’t a lot of gifted people, people aren’t always going to ‘get’ us, it’s hard to figure out how to get the stimulation we need, for some of us, it’s hard to find the discipline etc etc but I’m pretty sure some people do OK with it – so where are the models? And not just the academic answer but the flesh and blood, imperfect people? Who are they and what do they do that works for them? Where’s the community? Stay tuned…I’m actively working on all these questions :).

  6. raisingsmartgirls says:

    I’m 39 years old and finally really understanding that I NEED other gifted people to hang around.

    I can generate 6 well-thought-out blog posts in 1 day (check out Oct 14) because I was inspired to by another young gifted individual I met online who is wired very much like I am and it caused a chain reaction of inspiration. I did that one other time a few months ago – 5 posts in one day because the creativity and inspiration was sparked by another gifted individual.

    Every gifted person needs a mentor and a muse and a friend – sometimes this is the same person, sometimes this is two or more people.

    Every gifted adult needs to have their perceptions validated by another gifted adult.

    I love my husband…we get along – he’s gifted too – but his inner world is vastly different than mine (he’s a mechanical engineer). Communication has always been challenging (he’s way more introverted than I am). We do talk, don’t get me wrong…but he doesn’t have the emotional and intellectual intensity that feeds into each other and makes me have an intense high followed by a bit of a crash simply because of the expenditure of glucose because I’m having a major burst of creativity. That burst isn’t sustainable for long.

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