On Being Average

When I was younger I found it almost unacceptable to think of myself as average.  The idea of being ‘average’ was on par with getting a ‘C’ grade in school or just disappearing into the background of a crowd.  Much effort went into making myself stand out, whether for good or for bad I wanted to be seen.  I wanted to be admired, cared for, idealized, and congratulated for something that I did, something extraordinary.  Knowing, or maybe just pretending to myself, that my friends and other peers wouldn’t be able to investigate if my stories were authentic I’d tell them all sorts of things that I thought would get me some sort of recognition.  I even went so far as to tell a lie that I was related to the person who invented Murphy’s Beer, my maiden name is Murphy, because I thought it would impress them.  Looking back on my childhood and adolescence I realize now that all the energy I put into pretending to be someone extraordinary denied me the ability to become my best ordinary, normal, average self.

When all is said and done, an enormous amount of time and mental, physical, and emotional energy are used up trying to make ourselves live up to the unreasonable expectations of the world around us.  I think accepting the average parts of ourselves, even the mediocre parts, can open the possibility for growth into exploring our best ordinary self.

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