Lego’s: My Childhood Nemesis
They stared at me, challenging me to try it on my own. Everything about them mocked me. I tried to venture into the abyss of creativity, but my mind always came up blank. Thus was the story of my luck with Lego’s. It may seem to be a funny scenario, almost ridiculous. Nonetheless, it was true. When my brothers dumped their teeming bin of toys onto the floor, I would sit among them, desperately lost. While they dove into the pile of possibilities, I sat intently trying to think of some brilliant car or ship to build on my own. In the end I always gave up and turned to the usual instruction manuals, long ago abandoned by my brothers. What I did not realize was that each time I set out to master the art of Lego’s, I was embarking on a quest of much greater value. I was honing my ability to be organized and to accept who I am.
One skill I perfected early in my Lego career was organization. First I started out organizing by color. One pile for red, one for black, another for blue, and so on. But before long I realized that color really had little to do with the use of each specific piece. I found that instead, the shape was much more important. And so then I would mix them all up and start all over again. The long skinny ones here, short fat ones over there, and the usual pile of miscellaneous items that didn’t seem to fit anywhere. This vital skill is one that I’ve kept with me my entire life. Organization is a fundamental for success. But if used alone, it sometimes leads to nowhere. Instead, I have had to learn how to unite organization with purpose. I have served as an officer in numerous clubs, and keeping organized has been one of my strongest assets. But now I am learning that by placing purpose behind the method, I end up with an effective strategy to accomplish my goals.
The next skill was one that I honestly didn’t want, learning to accept myself. Time and time again I found myself scratching my head, trying frantically to think of something creative to make, but nothing ever came to mind. Many times I went to bed with the bitter taste of defeat still annoying the taste buds of my pride. I could have given up after my second try to produce something artistic, but instead I learned the value of accepting who I was. For some reason I am just the kind of girl who was made to follow instructions. This probably bothered me was because it wasn’t who my brothers were. They could think of brilliant designs for racecars and made them come to life right before my eyes. I wanted to be just like them, to be able to think up something and then hold it in my hands. Instead, I always found myself making a replica of someone else’s bright idea. But once I accepted the fact that my brain just worked that way, there was no turning back. Richard Bach said it perfectly: “Your only true obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself.”
At the end of the day we would turn to the daunting task of picking up the colossal mess that lay on the floor. Our carefully crafted masterpieces were purposefully left out to be admired by all. My brothers would have a collection of models that they proudly displayed to Mom and Dad. I often had only one. Nonetheless, I was proud of my work. Every step had been tediously followed, every piece dutifully sought after, and in the end I was satisfied. My organization had paid off and I felt a sense of personal fulfillment. Little did I know that years down the road I would look back on those days and be grateful for Lego’s, my childhood nemesis.