Saturday, August 6, 2011

Rambling thoughts: Accepting Average

Confession: When I was 13 years old, I had a PartyLite candle party. Nobody came. Seriously, it was me and my mom and the PartyLite rep. I still have memories of going to the window in the kitchen every 5 minutes until an hour after the party was supposed to start. The snacks were sitting on the table, untouched; the ice melting in the punch bowl. Finally my mom placed her order and we packed it all in. It was 10 years before I threw another party of any kind. Ironically enough, it was a PartyLite candle party and a lot of people came. But still to this day whenever the idea of throwing a party comes up, I am overcome by anxiety and revert back to my 13 year old self, staring out the window in my parents’ kitchen. So I don’t have them.

So by trying to throw a party and not having any guests I viewed that as a failure. And now, by not throwing parties anymore, does that mean I’ve accepted failure or given into fear of it?

Lately, I’ve been suffering from feelings of self-doubt and hits to my confidence levels. By lately I mean, months and months. My husband is very good at assurance and telling me all the good things a girl needs to hear, but let’s be honest, he’s a tad biased and I know that.

Recently I tried something new. It has so far been remarkably unsuccessful. (Thus the hits to my confidence level.) And now I am at a familiar crossroads: do I accept failure or give into the fear of it and move on?

Which brings me to my next, semi-related, point:

I’ve never been what I would call “exceptional.” I’ve always been pretty average, I think. I was not popular in school, but I wasn’t exactly getting shoved in lockers either. I was just sort of there. I don’t have an advanced degree, I’m not going to run for political office or start a billion dollar social media company or star in a movie. I’m not exceptionally beautiful (except maybe to this guy… )

and I’m not really all that important (except maybe to this guy…)

I also have a problem with comparing myself to others, which adds to my feelings of inadequacy. But I feel a bit reassured to know that I am not the only one who does this. I am also fully aware that this is part of the reason I feel this way at times.

I have a very active imaginary exciting life where I’m good at everything and I win awards and everyone loves me. In reality, I’m average.

So the question is, are we supposed to accept average? I’m not saying we should be perfect; that’s impossible and the drive to perfection will drive you crazy. But is alright to be average or is that just settling? Shouldn’t we be always trying to better ourselves?

There are a lot of inspirational quotes out there about “the only failure is not trying” and “failing isn’t falling, its staying down” etc, etc, etc. But you can only hit so many road blocks in your life before you just want to turn around and go back home to what is safe.

I have no answers—I’m just thinking out-loud. I have a great life: supportive family, a wonderful husband, the most amazing son, a job I enjoy, and a house of our own. I really have nothing to complain about. So that’s my question: Is it enough to “have nothing to complain about”? Should we be OK with being average so we don’t fail? Or should we keep going, push past any sort of grand scale unsuccess and keep doing the things we enjoy even if nobody else cares? Or do you risk deluding yourself into being more confident in your abilities than you actually are?

Is it OK to accept average from outsider’s perspective but consider yourself a rock star in the confines of your own home? Or should we strive to be exceptional in all aspects of life in every situation?

Just thinking out loud...

1 comment:

  1. I love you, friend and just off the top of my head I can list two things that you are exceptional at: the way you have with words and your sewing abilities! (I could go on and on :) I am so sorry you had to go through that at 13!