'Frankly I'm not even that smart. What I am is fearless and intuitive' -- Kelly Cutrone, taken from 'If You Have to Cry Go Outside and Other Things Your Mother Never Told You'
I love this quote, because that's almost exactly how I feel about myself. I laugh whenever people describe me as smart or a genius. It's not that I'm not smart but genius is more than a stretch. In fact, I'll let you all in on a little secret - I had a tough time with reading for YEARS. I may be a freakishly dedicated reader now but until the 6th grade reading came only of force and hard work for me. Being mildly dyslexic it wasn't easy for me to learn to read and it wasn't enjoyable for years after.
I never thought of myself as particularly smart but I suppose I knew for the most part I also wasn't dumb. I had the unique benefit of being taught at home (yep, I was home schooled) so I had advantages many of my peers did not. I took to certain subjects (eventually) like writing, literature, and sign language. I excelled in those areas even as I continued to be painfully aware of my shortcomings in math (I have a much harder time with numbers than letters) and science.
I've had some great victories since graduating college and I'm grateful for continued opportunities. That being said, I'm with Kelly - my successes have not come from being smart, I don't think myself any smarter than the next girl. They have come from courage and hard work. The courage to try what others don't dare dream of, the resilience to get up after failures (and there have been some), and the work ethic to do what it takes.
I like Kelly. She's an average small town girl who didn't take no for an answer. She fought to get to where she wanted to be and she fights to stay on top of her game now. I respect that.