Did You Bring Your Map?

Talent is an indicator of interest. Children gravitate towards activities they enjoy, and they become better at them through repetition. Monkeys are no different, especially monkeys like us.

Doug and I thought back to when we were tiny monkeys, and all the things we enjoyed doing. We wanted to see if there is a correlation between our early interests and where we are in life today. We thought back as far as we could, and moved forward to the present.

I wrote down all the talents I have developed, and the age that it first manifested. We weren’t worried about specific times and dates… A general  era of our life is sufficient for this exercise…

  • Monkeys have trouble reading maps...

    Monkeys have trouble reading maps…

    Artist- Probably around two years of age.

  • Well read- Around five-ish.
  • Rapport with animals- Since I was a new fuzzy monkey ball I guess…
  • Intelligent- Always, but my school recognized by the age of 10 (gifted classes).
  • Miniaturist- Eleven or so. I began creating and painting tiny objects.
  • Interest in spirituality- Not sure of age. This was the foundation of my life when I was a child.
  • 3-D artist- 23 or so. I started working as a sculptor/moldmaker/caster in a bronze foundry, and developed this skill ’til the present.
  • Animals(again)- 40 or so. After years of pushing them away I’ve accepted that I love animals and they love me (3 cats, 2 dogs and 8 chickens later).
  • Spirituality(again)- Like animals, I pushed this away for years.

Now Doug and I have a cheat sheet listing what drove us along the path of life. We studied this list, and wrote down our observations and insighst into our younger monkey selves…

I started out as a sensitive young monkey. I loved animals and lost myself in fantasy and daydreams.  Spirituality was a major part of my life when I was a pre-teen.

Something happened (and we don’t understand what yet), and I changed. Cynicism replaced spirituality. Animals became a nuisance and not worth the effort. I became afraid,and pulled into myself. Interactions with the outside world were done through props, instead of actual connections. I was an “artist”, “agnostic”, “too impatient for animals”. I was lots of things except for my true self. I was unhappy…

Life has come full circle. I am learning to be the authentic me. Spirituality and animals have become prominent in my life again, and creativity remains. My persona has fallen away and what remains is the real me, with my authentic interests and talents.

Yay. Monkey high five!


Think back to your earliest memories. What did you enjoy doing? What activities did you gravitate towards? Move forward through your life and ask these or similar questions.

Write down a list of your Talents and skills from the beginning to the present day. Think about them, and assign an approximate time for when each talent emerged. Don’t worry about exact dates. Sure, your skill at competitive marshmallow tossing manifested on July 3, at 6:34 am, but an age range will do for this exercise.

Study your new list and see if any patterns emerge. What are your observations about your talent path? What insight do you have now,  looking back? Write down your thoughts about your list. Write a short narrative describing why your talents developed as they did, and why some stayed and some faded away.

This list shows where you’ve invested your time and energy. It doesn’t mean this is who you have to always be though…

Appreciate your talent next. Say thank you…


  1. Thank you to both of you!! Insightful and cathartic exercise!! X

    1. I’m glad you found it useful. Yay! Someone is reading my older posts!

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