llbbooks ([personal profile] llbbooks) wrote2012-08-29 09:43 pm

Esse quam videri

I am not a sports fan. Any love I might have had for sports, and there wasn't much to begin with, was eradicated in me at a very young age. If I never see or hear another baseball game in my life, it will be too soon.

What I'm an avid fan of is beauty, and you can find it everywhere you look. I see it in paintings. I see it in the sky. I hear it in music. I see it on dance floors in hazy nightclubs. I've seen it many times through an open moonroof at 4am. I've seen it in shot glasses, I've seen it on plates. I see it in pictures. It's everywhere.

When I talk about beauty, I don't necessarily mean aesthetics, though those certainly don't hurt. In animate objects/people, I mean an easy, seemingly effortless grace, an economy of movement that leaves no wasted time or effort. Unquestionable competence. Bonus points if the person actually gives a damn.

Sports is admittedly full of these moments. The running back managing to catch the football and make the touchdown. The transition from side-mount to being inside the guard in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. The unparalleled conditioning of the basketball player and that shining moment between the crossover dribble and making the basket.

The fullest expression of beauty I have ever seen is when you expand the concept to mean a group of people working toward the same goal, people who know their work, themselves, and the others in their group that the need for intentional thought is bypassed and they flow together as one.

I knew from my first day at Walgreens that it was a poor fit. I tried my very hardest (what I didn't have in talent I made up for in willingness to work hard and refusal to give up) but for the 4+ years I was there, it never came naturally. By the end, I was a good pharmacy tech, and I am proud of what I managed to accomplish because those skills were very hard won, but I never felt that flow. I saw it countless times, but I was a 5th wheel. I wondered more times than I can count whether I would ever find something that fit, something I could flow at like everyone else was, and it never stopped hurting that I could see poetry in motion but not take part.


One year ago today, I began working for my current employer.

So much has changed.

The title of this essay, esse quam videri, is Latin for "to be, rather than to seem." Some may recognize it as the North Carolina state motto. It has personal significance for me because I have spent my life watching the people I respect and trying to emulate the best qualities I saw in them, hoping one day that it would fit.

It fits. It flows. I am damn good at my job. I am more centered, more balanced. I am much more confident in my abilities, and there is virtually no impostor syndrome, something I had trouble with for years and years. No longer am I a 5th wheel, a square peg in a round hole- I'm an integral part.

I'm happy.

I'm not trying to be, hoping to be, anymore. I just am.

There are many forms of beauty.