Discover and understand being gifted!

Me, a precocious child? Gifted? Zebra? High Potential…
No, you’re wrong!

It’s not the destination that counts, but the road travelled

When a zebra is detected as an adult, it’s often hard to believe! After all, being a zebra is an extraordinary thing, and when you find out about it, it can be terribly frightening! Why me? What is it? How does a zebra work?

No matter what age you discover it, 20, 30, 40, 70 (yes, some zebras discover it when they’re retired!), it’s always a shock. When a psychologist validates your results in the “From our discussions I can conclude that you have a zebra-like approach to the world and a zebra-like way of thinking .

Discovering that you are gifted / zebra

The explosion! That’s the word… Tears, joy, incomprehension and relief… Thinking, “But that’s what it really comes down to…”. I’m not an outcast, I’m not misunderstood or a social misfit, and above all, I’m NOT ALONE!

The biggest relief was to say to myself, finally it’s not me… As if now I didn’t have to feel guilty about this difference. I wasn’t the only one, there were others like me. Clumsy people, tough people with tender hearts, people full of love who hid behind a false self that was sometimes cold and arrogant… I was finally going to be myself and be able to assume it, because there wasa good reason for this “weird” behavior.

In fact, for most people, it sounds crazy! I’m really convinced that a lot of people think being gifted must be so cool! Uh, yes, I think it can be when you’re detected at a very young age.

The more time we spend not knowing, the more time we spend adapting and questioning… And when you finally know, you’ ve become so used to adapting that becoming yourself becomes a real ordeal!

Do you really discover that you’re a zebra?

In life there really are moments that create a before and after. The discovery of my giftedness at the age of 30 (2017) is clearly a pivotal year in my life… A year that will remain engraved in my mind and on my body as I’m getting a tattoo :D! And of course a landmark year as I launched Follow the zebra😉

I must admit that when I was a teenager, I wondered: what if I was a precocious child too? Three seconds later, I was thinking, no, impossible, I’m too strange and I don’t have anything exceptional to validate the fact that I could be a gifted child… Because like many people in France, I had a truncated notion of what a gifted person, a high potential, or as I prefer to call us a zebra, is!

But it’s true, I asked myself the question, as if deep down I knew it but didn’t want to believe it… difficult to explain… I often tell you about a little voice! Well, I think my little voice has always known that I was gifted! The little voice that we often refuse to listen to, yet it’s like the light of a lighthouse to follow so as not to get lost along the way…

Gifted, Zebra: between stereotypes and self-acceptance!

People think gifted people are exceptional, like Einstein! So yes, Einstein was gifted… And, yes, of course zebras are exceptional people, but just as people who aren’t gifted are exceptional people ;)! I hate stereotypes and boxes so much…

And that’s the duality of what I am !!!!!! When I was studying Modern Literature, I often remarked to myself that I loved words that meant duality! I used them in all my essays and commentaries: dichotomy, opposition, division, dualism, contradiction, contradictory, double!

I feel like an oxymoron! According to wikipedia : the oxymoron is a figure of speech that aims to bring together two terms (a noun and an adjective) that their meanings should separate, in a seemingly contradictory formula. !

But I’m one and the same… A kind of black sun…

Zebra predestined?

It’s funny (or not) but my first name Mélanie comes from the Greek, meaning black, dark. Just like when I say there’s no such thing as chance!!!!

But in real life, I’m a very fun person, I laugh all the time and I have a laughing face! I love people as much as I love autism… I have a very dark side despite my joie de vivre… And that’s what I am, the embodiment of duality, of dichotomy…

Which also makes me think about the evolution of life and cell division… (Yes, this is exactly the kind of moment when I go off the deep end ^^)! Mitosis and meiosis, a cell that divides to create another cell! In the end, division is part of our genes, part of who we are; it’s how we become who we are!

What difference does knowing you’re gifted make?

Well… EVERYTHING and at the same time NOTHING!

In fact, as a person, i.e. what characterizes me, my qualities, my faults, my physical appearance, my tastes. All that hasn’t changed. It’s funny because people ask me if I feel smarter now that I know I’m gifted! I love that question! No, not at all, I work the same way. It’s just that since I’ve found out, I’ve been working a lot on myself, especially through personal development.

By the way, as a reminder, giftedness is genetic, so I was born that way and I’ve always been that way! There was no mutation in my brain at 30… Even if having a genius idea today would be great(still valid 1 year after writing this article…) it’s not because I know that I am zebra that I’ll suddenly become a 100 m runner or speak 5 languages fluently, including Russian and Arabic! I’m already trying to improve my English and keep up my Spanish (and that’s no easy task) and as it happens my gifted brain is obviously not much help!

I have the same abilities as before…

Being gifted also means discovering that we’re all different!

So no, no, I don’t feel smart! I still have the same rotten and peculiar sense of humour, I listen to French variety music including Gims which I love and other stuff that’s pretty lame for some people and too cool for others…

What has changed, however, is the way I look at my life, myself and my relationships with others. I’m definitely more tolerant of people than I used to be. I forgive them for not always understanding, for not always loving me. I forgive them for not being perfect.

I used to have a hard time, I was so demanding with myself that I was also demanding with others. Today I know that I’m “different” and that, in the end, we’re all different! So here’s what’s changed: I appreciate that others accept me with my uniqueness, so I accept theirs!

I no longer put myself in a false self. Now I am who I am, I have the abilities I have and I do as I can with what I have and especially what I am. Above all, I don’t do things I don’t want to do any more, that’s my new way of life.

Today I can say that I’m a happy and fulfilled zebra. 🙂

I only do what I feel is in line with who I am, and THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING! I do things for me, I don’t have to prove anything.

I’m beginning to understand who I am and I want to follow that little voice that tells me to go further!

I think being Being gifted is like being a woman, having red hair, being tall or short, it all depends on what you make of it and whether you tend to see the glass as half full or empty. I see it as an opportunity ! It’s funny because that the English word for gifted is “gifted”. gifted “like a gift, a gift that has been given to us! I love this meaning…

I think there’s a suppressed superhero side to being a zebra. In a way, we’re all trying to be different while fitting into a box, which is absurd… Superman is a typical example… Dr Jekyll and Mr Hide too… Always this duality, good and evil, politically correct and… Blanche Gardin! But we’re all too fond of these shows.

And so there are also days when I hate being a zebra because I wish it were simpler… But if it were simple, it wouldn’t make sense!

High Potential: “Gifted”, between gift and curse!

Duality again and again… White / Black… Ying and Yang… My life!

My life as a High Potential is a rollercoaster ride, and to keep up with me you often have to be on your toes!

I’m not a lunatic, they’re not mood swings (like a bipolar or borderline) it’s just that allit takes is the flap of a butterfly’s wing for it to sometimes trigger a tsunami in my life

photo credit Anne Landois

Visit fraction of a second everything changes!

So much so, that the black veil that passes over my face makes my eyes change color! Being gifted is just living everything so strongly… that it’s as beautiful and exciting as it is sad and destabilizing

It’s a colorful life, as enriching as it is exhausting… That’s why it’s so important to give yourself little moments of respite and calm.

I’ ve already known for 6 months(update, 2 years already…………) that I’m trying to develop the things I’m already good at. That I also try to live in the moment, deal with moments of doubt and anxiety, and learn to let go!

It’s hard when you’re a zebra to stop thinking!

Writing is my therapy!

People around me have asked me why I created follow the zebra. Simply because it makes me feel good to talk about it, to exchange ideas and to share too!
Thanks to the blog, I’ve met some exceptional people and gained confidence in myself. Today, thanks to you and your support, as Bridget would say, I accept myself as I am. 🙂

I’m an inspired person, I’d like to be as inspiring as I am inspired ^^!

Conclusion: gifted, zebra, it’s not so bad after all!

Sometimes I talk to myself, I don’t realize it but my lips move, which gives me away, I must look like a nut talking to myself.

Sharing this experience on the blog is both rewarding, and also allows me to try and show that being a zebra means having a life like everyone else!

An almost ordinary life?

My life is “almost” ordinary! I work, I have friends (despite my autistic side), I have passions, I have a dog, except that my range of emotions and passions is just more intense! And I need to have lots of projects to feel alive, but that’s not just for zebras…

I also have, through my own experience of High Potential, my vision of the zebra and its characteristics. In any case, I try to pass on what makes sense to me and in my life. JI hope to show you that when you believe, when you are positive, the rest follows, and life embarks on its great whirlwind!

You can also find more information, resources and tools on Giftedness in Mel POINASbook. With a lot of humor, Mel tells the story of the discovery of her giftedness and the routines she put in place to finally find her place!

Le livre

Écrit par une HPI !
Un témoignage et des solutions concrètes pour découvrir, comprendre et apprendre à vivre en étant HPI.

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