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Loving me some new vocabulary

A friend of mine introduced me to a new word today: sprezzatura.

I explained to her how I have always treated my post-high school education like a competition—all my classmates versus me in a battle to determine who was best. Receiving an exceptional grade was great, but knowing I was on top was even better.

As such, I routinely found ways to demoralize my classmates while climbing to the top. Finishing tests as quickly as possible. Casually displaying high marks for my classmates to see. Making it appear as if completing a tough homework assignment was an afterthought. Preparing two or three insightful comments before class, usually based upon research in an area that appealed to the professor.

The fact that my classmates were never aware of this battle probably helped a lot.

And so, to describe my attitude, my friend gave me sprezzatura:

“A certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it.”

She also asked me if I thought this was a healthy lifestyle.

I don’t know. I graduated in the top 5% of every school I’ve ever attended, achieved my dream of becoming a teacher and an author, and am very happy with my life.

I feel pretty healthy.