Here’s the thing: I’m average. That’s not such a brilliant revelation on the surface of it, but for the longest time I’ve been in denial. Stick with me here, this is a celebration my friends!
I realised recently that there has been a low-level panic going on in the background of my life. I’ve been frightened, I think, of my own capacity. Despite all evidence to the contrary, my ego rigidly wants to believe that I am exceptional. I’ve been afraid of my own “exceptional” capacity for darkness, for light, for helping, for hindering, for honesty, for delusion, for happiness, for sadness, for working, for slacking-off, for gratitude, for ingratitude … my capacity for being every side of every coin. As though mine is a capacity beyond others.
Average seems never to have been an option from me where myself is concerned. Why? Who am I to believe, even secretly, in my own ability to do or feel anything beyond all other human beings? It’s ridiculous.
Why should I believe, until now, that “okay” is alright for everyone else, but not for me? Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s important to strive. I truly believe it is! But the hilarious paradox is that this belief that I can, and should, do better than average, means I let myself off the hook almost continuously. I’ll shy away from doing certain things at all, simply because I can’t guarantee that I’ll do them well! Like a tantruming child who wont play if she can’t win. When I’ve been bad, I’ve believed myself to be the worst person in the world, and when I’ve been good, I’ve secretly thought of myself as God’s gift to humanity … Ha! When I think about attempting something new, or brave, or honest, I wrestle with myself for an eternity because I’m so afraid my humanity will show – how horrific. Even now, writing this, I’m fighting every instinct to delete it all and write about some recent “success” even if I have to make it up … And in the end, I waste a disgusting amount of time being concerned about “getting it right” or making it “perfect” and have little or no steam left when it comes to actually doing the thing.
You tell me, is that not exceptionally silly? … Probably not actually.
In terms of “average”, why is it so frowned upon? What is actually wrong with it? … I’ve decided I’m going to be happy to be robustly “middle of the road”. It’s a relief, in a way, to finally surrender to, and enjoy, my pedestrian nature. I’m raising my glass to mediocre. It’s an un-sung non-hero. Without un-outstanding people like me, exceptional people wouldn’t be exceptional … they’d be the rule.
The over-achievers slogan says “Refuse to be average!” … Well, I refuse to not be average! Someone’s got to do it. And am good at it. I hereby, fully and wholeheartedly embrace my median ways! I’m going to stand right here and provide a measure for unremarkable. You can judge your success by your distance from where I’m standing if you like. I don’t mind at all.
I do need to find a way to quieten that part of me that keeps whispering under its breath, “Yes, yes! You could even be exceptionally average!”. In fact, if you look close enough, you’ll see that I’ve managed to turn averageness into an ego trumpet right here in front of you. I suppose there are parts of my head that will forever remain lodged up my own behind … In an average sort of way of course. And proudly so.