The Rubix Cube Moment
I can't do the Rubix Cube. Never could do the Rubix Cube. I can barely do one stupid side without getting a headache. I think I got two sides once back in the day-- but I vaguely remember it was by luck or I didn't remix it up enough or whatever. In any case it wasn't a full-on legit two sides. And yeah my personal Rubix ended up all loosey loose because I'd break it apart and piece it together to 'beat it'. Eventually it was ruined after the peeled stickers wouldn't stick back on etc.
(I soon moved onto 'Whip It' which I remember being more my speed. Whip It? Anyone?)
Not too long ago I saw a Rubix Cube in someone's place and was sort of surprised I still couldn't do it! There was a glimmer of, 'Maybe now that I'm older my brain magically smarted up into knowing how to do it??'-- but no go. Probably even worse now. So I've made peace with the fact that I'll never do all sides of a Rubix Cube unless I'm stranded on an island with nothing but a friggin Rubix Cube for a few years. And even then there's a side of me that feels like I'd be peeling stickers (and eating them) within a week.
Anyway, I think the Rubix was a turning point in my ability psyche when I was a kid. For a long time I kind of assumed I could do everything. Be the best in sports. Be the smartest kid. The fastest runner. Funniest kid. Whatever. Although I was none of the above-- in grammar school you usually couldn't distinguish true ability at a noticeable level. Sure there were kids who were better or or smarter or faster at some stuff-- but nothing was concrete yet. In most cases, everything was sort of up for grabs. I could imagine being #1 in any stuff thrown my way-- if I really felt like it.
But the Rubix Cube was a turning point. I don't know how old I was when it came out 8 or 9 or whatever-- but after watching one or two of my supernerd peers do it lickity split I was stunned. Staring at that cube of confusion was a big reality check. It was concrete evidence that some kids had actual abilities I didn't have. And would never have. And they did it with ease too...
Sure it ain't the worst thing in the world to realize you're not the best in something (especially rubix cube). Because it can motivate you to look for what you might be the best at (or very good at or whatever). But I get the feeling the Rubix Cube was the thing that got me looking for what I could do to counter that inability. Something that would give me legit bragging rights...
And maybe I started doodling out of frustration or whatever-- which at the time I guess wasn't really a braggable skill.