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(Un)Comfortably Average

I am average. Ugh. I had such big hopes and dreams for me when I was young. But then, don’t we all? Don’t most little boys dream of being a professional athlete in one sport or another, or a fireman or policeman who saves lives? And don’t most little girls want to become an actress/author/model/veterinarian/lawyer? I stumbled across the newspaper article regarding my high school graduating class a few weeks back. I read it and cringed. You see, I graduated Salutatorian (yep, second…always second) so I  had one (maybe two) paragraphs devoted to me. Nice, huh? Well, of course they asked about my plans for my life.  And there in black and white I read of my plans to go to college and then law school and become a corporate lawyer.  That is so terribly far from where I am now.  I did go to college. And I did get a degree, however, I transferred from my snazzy private college after two years and finished up at a small state school. Law school was out. After five years earning my BA, I was done. So I got a job. And I did pretty well at that job. Life goes on.  This is not about my career path, or lack thereof.

I watched the movie “Julie & Julia” the other day.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I was also jealous. This normal, average woman living in a walk-up over a pizza joint started a project and blogged about it. Nothing really out of the ordinary, right? But that woman ended up with a book and a movie based on that blog. I found myself sitting there wondering, “Why the  heck can’t I do that?”  How do normal people end up doing something fabulous? How do they end up beyond average? I really want to know.

About ten years ago – maybe longer – I started dreaming of becoming a writer. I was reading a lot of trashy novels at that point in my life (five years as an English Lit major will put you off reading anything “real” for a good long while) and thought to myself, “I could write this stuff.”  And the dream was born.  What else to English majors do if they’re not teaching? But that dream has never really progressed much past the dreaming stage.  I have a few story outlines, and actually two chapters written on one. I have the desire, but apparently not the will, to achieve the dream.  Maybe I’m afraid of failing. I think I’m actually terrified that it will turn out I am just completely average….not bad, but not really good either. Does anyone want to know the truth about themselves and/or their capabilities?

I will be the first to say I am not fabulous at really anything. I’m capable at a lot of things…cooking, cleaning, parenting, shopping, singing, organizing, decorating, scrapbooking. A-ver-age. I’d love to be beyond average at something. I find fear usually holds me back.  When someone says I do something well, I am usually shocked.  We are our own worst critics, correct? My view of myself is this – I function; I am *just* good enough and am terrified that anyone who thinks I’m beyond average will somehow find out I am just what I believe I am…average or worse. I am completely terrified of my kids figuring out I stink at being a mom. See – the dreams are there, but the will is lacking and the fear is overwhelming. But yet I abhor being *just* average.  I hate the thought of never achieving the dream of being beyond average at something. One of my primary goals is to get beyond myself – to get past the fears and take some risks.   You can’t get beyond average if you hide there.


FOOTNOTE : This is not a plea for reassurance that I’m good at anything, nor a beg for kudos. 🙂 It’s simply a meander through my brain.

4 thoughts on “(Un)Comfortably Average

  1. First of all….you are well beyond average at being Mom, wife, sister, daughter, and FRIEND!! Love you…just the way you are!

    As for the meandering through your mind….I think you’re in my head. You spoke straight to my heart with this post because I feel the exact same way. Our friendship grew from a common traumatic event…. One of the few good things (our miracles are the best parts of that experience) to have come out of our NICU experience. I say that to say this. Let’s write those booms together. Let’s do something together that we can both be proud of…and be great at!

    I’m registered for a creative writing class that starts after the first of the year. Hold my hand…we’ll jump together!

    Love you.. My well above average BFF!

  2. I LOVE your brain! I will meander through it anytime! You, my friend, as so far above average it isn’t even funny…in so many ways you are above average. I guess if you want to be “noticed” or have your 15 minutes of fame you could wear a bikini to the airport or go on Wipe Out with me or run a marathon (oh wait, didn’t you do that?) or you could take amazing pictures that I look forward to seeing every year (oh wait, yep you do that) or you could write PERFECTLY with no grammatical errors (oh wait, yep you do that and I probably shouldn’t say yep because that ain’t proper) or you could be friends and encourage people you may never ever meet and make a REAL difference in their lives (but wait…yes, you already do that!). My Diva D…if you are ‘just’ average then I don’t have a chance at even being in the ‘worse’ category! 😀

    Believe me…when you look up the definition of average, it does not have your picture by it! Maybe when you look up ‘determined’ or ‘caring’ or ‘articulate’ or ‘blessed’ but not average! OK, so you and Karri get busy and write that book! I’ll volunteer to critique it and won’t charge you a thing…just a bite of your cheesecake and a ride around town!

    I love you, my friend!

    Proverbs 31:28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.

    Yep, that is you!

    P.S. Your BFF above, that Karri girl…she isn’t even close to average either…I think you both are pretty terrific! 😀

  3. Donna – How funny that I had a similar discussion with my husband the other day! My life has gone in a very different direction than I ever imagined. I worked my butt off in school and I did very well. Went to college, got a master’s degree, graduated Summa Cum Laude… then Bam! Kimmie was born and I’ve been a stay at home since. I watch all these people who I did better than in high school and they are drs, lawyers, filmmakers….and the friend who’s homework I did on a regular basis? He owns his own company. WTH?!? But in the grand scheme of things I’m doing the most important thing I’ve dreamed of – making sure my kids start their life off right. Whatever else I do, can’t compare to how important this job is. So if this is average, I’m ok with that. 🙂

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