I’ve got Skills.
This is my stock response when assaulted with praise for something I’ve created. Aside from my inability to accept compliments, I have no idea how to answer this kind of interaction. I know how to do a lot of things.
Some of my skills lie dormant–long since discarded in favor of more interesting or practical ones (general artsy stuff, but especially sketching and doing cartoons). Some, I just don’t have time for because I am so engrossed in grad school life (crafting and construction). Some, I just don’t have a reason to use, unless it’s to irritate my sister (rapid ability to reduce fractions).
I don’t think I would say I’m a master at anything. Except learning new stuff. I don’t have a learning curve, I have a cliff. Through my natural stubbornness, I bang my head against a single topic until I have a base ability. This can take many tries, and usually a lot of frustration. Then, with no intermediary steps, I’m just doing it–and pretty well. When i learned to knit, I pulled a garter stitch scarf apart 6 times on 15 point needles. I couldn’t do it. The next project was a rib knit scarf, which only has a couple errors. Third project? Cabled, elbow length mittens.
But, I can’t knit a hat, which could be seen as an intermediary step between simple k2, p2 rows and an item in the round with counting, yarn overs, unders and sideways (that isn’t really a thing).
In learning, I come in, take what I need/want, and leave the rest in a heap until I feel like I need to sift through the ruins for another bit of information. This is what keeps me from mastery.
The next step: finding ways to prove my skills tangibly in a resume way.