The following should be read in the “Movie Phone” guy’s voice:
In a world where life begets struggle, and struggle often begets defeat, there are those few who rise to the occasion. This is the story of just one of the many…who do not.
Did “Movie Phone” guy date me? I mean, date me as in “tell how old I am”, not date me as in I can’t remember if I dated the movie phone guy, because I’m pretty sure I’d remember THAT. I mean, just imagine the pillow talk!!!
I talk about failing at becoming an alcoholic at the end – a special treat, just for those of you who make it that far! 😀
I Am Special, and So Are You (and you and you and you and you and you)
I’d like to talk to those people out there who recognize their own mediocrity. I mean, really talk – over coffee, just wallowing and rolling around in our own averageness. In fact, I’d love to find out if anyone actually accepts and even celebrates it! Because, that would be something special, wouldn’t it?
When I was in my teens and 20’s, I imagined myself to be something special. I was unique, outstanding – a hero, even. I didn’t fit in with my family, I didn’t feel like I connected with the people at school…so I must be “meant” for something more, right?
Heck, even younger than that I truly believed I was a witch, with a special ability to talk to animals. I grew up out in the country, and I would literally howl at the wolves and coyotes. I would be SUPER still when a wild deer or skunk or some other lovely creature was near me, and I communed with them telepathically.
One time I sat for an hour or more, holding the hummingbird feeder, so they would drink “from my hand”. It worked – as it would for ANY idiot willing to sit still holding a hummingbird feeder for that long. They probably thought I was a corpse.
Being Special Was An Escape From Reality
Even though I was living a kind of dark and terrible reality, I saw myself as this “special” being with a purpose I’d not yet discovered, but was SO ready for. The world was soon to be astounded by my amazingness! (Yep, I know it’s not a word, I’m usin’ it anyway – THAT is how special I am.)
Then life happened, I got pregnant, I was a decent mom (nothing GREAT, mind you – lots of flaws as a mom – but I loved a lot and supported without fail, so there’s that). I was an “OK” wife – also not spectacular there. I didn’t like to cook OR clean, yet I was the “homemaker”…so let’s just say there was a lot of pizza involved.
So I put off being the special, unique, spectacular person that I was destined to be, while I just lived life and dealt with the mundanity of it all. It was OK. I was OK. Not good, and far from great…but OK. Lots of happy moments and laughter, and totally grateful to be a part of my TOTALLY unique, special, and brilliant child.
Passing the Torch and Accepting Mediocrity
My kidlet really is special. SHE is one of the few, let me tell you…and I am in NO way biased or just transferring my failed greatness on to her. Nope – I see TRUE potential in that one.
No mediocrity THERE. I mean, wouldn’t that just be awful? To doom her to a life of mediocrity because I didn’t recognize and convince her that she was THE most special person on the planet (which she TOTALLY is!)?
So now life serves up another level of “I’m just meh” – nothing great, nothing special – just an average woman going through yet another kind of normal life stage. I wonder how much happier I’d be if I didn’t feel like being average and mediocre was such an abysmal failure! What if being “meh” was fine? What if it was OK to just putter along, NOT striving for something more?
Being A Unique And Glorious Butterfly Is A Luxury I Cannot Afford
I just spent the morning trying, again, to figure out how the hell I’m going to make money and support myself when I can barely get out of bed each day. I looked at lists and lists of jobs, all of which I can’t do, for one reason or another. Either I can’t do the physical aspect – which is pretty much ANY job other than writing and art, I suppose – or I don’t have the qualifications and getting them falls back under the category of “can’t”.
The thing is, I’m not spectacular at writing or art, either. I’m just “OK”. I’m an OK writer – but I’m not a journalist. I don’t do research and put together anything coherent and though provoking that stirs people to action. I just write what’s in my mind, which is kind of like translating scribbles.
I’m an OK artist – not really even that OK, if I’m being totally honest. I’m a bit of a lazy artist – I like instant gratification, so I’m not good at anything that requires a WHOLE lot of effort. I don’t put any angst into it, either. I just like making pretty things.
It’s What I Am Doing…But It Doesn’t Pay The Bills
I whine about my life, in writing. That’s the level of writing at which I excel. A few months ago, I was still thinking I could write “advice” about how to live with mental illness and thrive, or how to live with chronic pain and thrive, or do SOME shit and thrive. The thing is, I’m not thriving, so why would I be trying to offer advice to other people implying that I know HOW to thrive?
For the record: I do not know how to thrive. I’m not sure I’ve ever thrived. I don’t have a clue how to thrive in the midst of chronic pain and mental illness, that’s for damn sure! I barely know how to continue to exist. So. An advice blog this cannot be – and the great experts as found on Google say that to make money with a blog you have to have something people want.
These great gurus of the interwebs tell me that rule #1 to having a “successful” blog (i.e. making money with it), is that I must be good at something, and then share the “how to be good at that thing” with others. Then, these magical beings – the “others” that will flock to my advicey-type blog – they will bring the advertisers with them, and then money will flow into my pockets almost as if by magic.
Except – I no longer view myself as someone anyone should be looking to for advice. That’s a pretty major confession, given that I was a counselor type for so many years. I was actually pretty good at it, despite my personal mediocrity…but that’s another story for another time.
I’m not really exceptional at anything but whining, anymore, and I don’t really think a WHOLE lot of people are going to read my whining and decide it’s internet gold, thus bringing those dolla’ bills with them.
I’m NOT Looking For Comfort – These Are Just The Facts
Don’t get me wrong – I said in my last post that I’m good at almost everything I do. That’s actually true – I just don’t think it’s that special or unique. When fibromyalgia and arthritis and chronic fatigue took over my life, they robbed me of being that super capable, “good at everything” person that I was. Not unique – just good at stuff.
Even then, however, I wasn’t terribly special or different. I was nothing better than practically everyone I knew! LOTS of people are good at most things that they do or try. LOTS of people are better at everything that I’ve ever been good at.
Yet, I’ve walked around this planet thinking I’m a horrible fucking failure if I’m not BETTER than EVERYONE at EVERYTHING. Lately, I’ve been doing some of my mediocre art…and then I saw someone selling some art that was vaguely similar to my own, and decided I could no longer do what I was doing, because it was not TOTALLY unique.
Other people were doing it or something like it – and they were doing it better than I was. So why bother?
Sometimes Life Just Sucks, and So Do I
Get your mind out of the gutter – that is NOT what I meant. (Yeah, YOU know who you are!)
I do have a few people that read this blog, and some of them read some of what I write and want to comfort me. The thing is, I don’t need comforting. I’m fine – this is just reality. I’m tired of pretending anything else, and I’m tired of feeling like I’m only perceived as “OK” if I think things are just GREAT all the time.
Things are not great, things suck, and my things don’t suck HALF as much as some of THEIR things do, in the grand scheme of things, with things being what they are.
Wow. That was a hell of a sentence!
So please, please, please don’t think you have to make me feel better about the mediocre quagmire that is my life right now. Let’s just laugh at it – at the preposterous notion that EVERYONE is something above and beyond the normal, common experience of being human.
If We Were All Heroes, We Wouldn’t Need Heroes
Because not everyone can BE a hero. Not everyone can be that extra special and totally amazing person that rises up to fight in the face of adversity and “soldiers on” when in pain. Sometimes life and pain and adversity win. The message those of us who can’t thrive get, however, is that we are weak losers. Failures, if we’re not EXCEPTIONAL.
We are, what, sheep? The masses, clawing at Jesus’ robe, begging for healing? Are those the same people that as individuals see themselves as amazing and unique butterflies?
I see myself as neither hero nor sheep. Although, quite honestly, there are times when I do wish I felt OK “begging” for help from some magical being that could somehow take all of my pain away. If Jesus’ knocks on my door (in the flesh, people – I’m an atheist – it would take a LOT of convincing even if he DID show up here in person!).
Anyway – if that mythical being that can heal all knocks on my door, I’m not even sure I’d answer, because I wouldn’t recognize him and he might be some creep who just wants to steal my TV. BUT – assuming I answer the door, and he does heal me – it would be because he reached out to me, not because I begged for it. Soooooo – that’s highly unlikely, isn’t it?
I Am Not A Hero
Maybe that is how I will be a hero – by helping people realize that NOT being a hero is not a sin. It is not a failure…it is just life. I know – it sounds like I’m trying to convince everyone else to just give up – but I’m not! I think it’s OK to want more – that’s the American Dream, after all, is it not? We are never good enough, we never HAVE enough…we are supposed to WANT more and more and more. How’s that working out for us so far???
Heroes are wonderful and amazing. On a side note, I do think there is a hero in most of us, depending on the situation and who and what are at stake. I still believe I would step in front of a bullet to save my daughter – and that is a form of heroism, right? At least, according to the news, those are the types of things we celebrate as heroic. But doing a heroic thing in a very specific circumstance does not make one a hero as a way of being in the world.
Because, I am facing and accepting it now: I am not exceptional, and I am not a hero as a way of being. I am not a magical, mythical being.
Unfortunately, I do tend to want more and more and more – so I guess I’m a true American, always thinking I’m not good enough and yet at the same time somehow believing that I’m meant to be MORE – BETTER than everyone ELSE in the world. Ugh! (I don’t actually think that last part, so I may not be what one might call a “true patriot” – yet another topic for another post).
“You Are SO Brave (or strong, or whatever)!”
For the record, it is not brave to continue to live in spite of pain. Brave is doing things you’re afraid of, despite the fear. Living…well, there’s only one other choice, and that one is kinda scary – so living is the only real option. Not brave. Not strong. Just alive…that’s it.
I am not even one of those people that doesn’t complain about their pain, but goes out into the world and saves others despite it! I complain. A lot. On a daily basis. And it keeps me huddled at home most of the time in the most non-heroic way imaginable.
I am not even a helper, anymore…although I used to fancy myself one. I was the person that helped OTHERS. That was my role on this planet, and that is what I did. Until I couldn’t do that anymore.
I Am Totally Bitter…Not Gonna Lie About It
I’ve ended up at this point in my life unable to help myself, let alone help others. Living a life of mediocrity, and swimming in my own bitterness about it. Nope – I’m not the person that thrives despite adversity. I’m the person that curls up in a ball and hides under the covers and hopes it will all just go away.
I’ve recently started drinking. I mean, I’m trying, anyway. My hopes are that I can become an alcoholic and then “Intervention” will come and save me and send me to a beautiful rehab place for three months where someone will teach me how to be GREAT, despite my limitations.
I’m even failing at that, though. I had two beers last night, and it was more than I’ve had to drink at one time in…well, probably YEARS at this point. I mean, like 10 or 20 years. I don’t drink alcohol very often because it makes me feel like crap, but it’s a real downer that I can’t get myself to overcome even THAT obstacle.
I Can’t Even Be A Bitter Drunk!
I really WANT to drink, too. I mean, there are a lot of benefits. For one thing, people socialize over drinking. If I could just drink enough, maybe my social anxiety would abate and I’d meet some drinking buddy friend-type humans!
Also – they say you can lose a LOT of weight if you just stop drinking, so I’m thinking this is a really good diet plan. I drink enough that in a few months I can STOP drinking, and then I’ll lose the weight I’ve not been able to lose since I got pregnant 23 years ago! I am a GENIUS! I will market this plan and make millions and SAVE THE WORLD. *sigh*
Also – lots of famous authors and artists are drinkers, so maybe my greatness lies JUST on the other side of a whiskey bottle, and I just can’t get to it because I can’t make myself drink the damn whiskey!!!
I’m not even great at being a drunk. What’s a thoroughly mediocre and chaotic kumquat to do???