Recently I’ve accepted that I am average. I am not bound for the imaginary greatness that my child self was fed, and subsequently believed. As so it happens, and must have happened in plenty of other young adults, my rumoured ultimate potential turns out to be a short-lived prodigious phase. There is no illustrious life waiting as a reward for my inherent greatness, nor is there a limousine with a red carpet and a nationwide holiday celebrating my arrival on the lands of adulthood due to A Great Achievement That I Should Already Have By Now. There is no queue of editors waiting to sign a book deal of my autobiography or a hashtag of my name trending in Twitter. There is nothing ahead but a banal life of being an average adult.
It’s crazy, how [my younger self] believed in the potential of herself and how greatness was simply that potential plus hard work. It’s been a hard thought journey but I have finally arrived at the conclusion of an entire childhood of comforting (if somewhat farfetched) assurance: I’m going to be average.
I am still not okay with that.
How does anyone reconcile oneself with the hard, solid fact that oneself is average and a faceless statistic among the masses? How does one calm the angry misled prodigy residing within the present mind frame and comfort the depressed adolescent already ready to give in? HOW DOES ANYONE DEAL WITH BEING AVERAGE WHEN ALL THEIR LIVES THEY HAVE BEEN LED TO BELIEVE OTHERWISE?
I just felt like typing in caps.
All right, maybe I am quite angry with myself. I’ve seen that being average is inevitable, but I haven’t quite let acceptance slide into place yet. I’m not sure if I ever will. I always believed that I had potential to do something great, and the reason I haven’t yet is because I haven’t had The Great Idea strike my mind yet. I told myself I’m ready, anytime now. When The Great Idea comes to me, like in a prophecy, greatness will follow. The Great Idea will free me from this temporary facade of being an average person bound for an average adulthood ending in an average death. The Great Idea will present itself and I will take it by the horns and share it with the world and the illustrious life and autobiography book deal will be mine.
Only I’m almost 19 now (a fact that scares me) and The Great Idea remains a hopeful prediction written by my prodigious self for the unquestionable greatness that must be mine. In fact I don’t think it’s ever going to come, at least not to my side. I’ve missed it as my years outraced the growth of my intelligence, and my prodigious self must be shaking her head with disgust and loathing, as I am left behind in this facade that has become real life.
As I did average maths questions I pondered my real life. For so long now I didn’t think I would actually have to go through with it because it wasn’t mine to live. Adulthood is for people who didn’t get Great Ideas addressed to them. But I realize now that average is the way to go. Do the average thing: study, write uni applications, send them in, go to a uni averagely(if accepted), major in something average, graduate averagely, work averagely, be an average law-abiding predictable adult with pitifully domestic affairs and live the rest of life averagely.
Speaking of being a law-abiding adult, I find it funny thinking of my greatest regret as I turned 18 last year. I don’t know what kind of life I had envisioned for myself as a child, but average has always been out of the picture, so ironically average is new grounds for me. Once I watched on TV that people who go to prisons don’t get the luxury of pillows and bolsters, so that night I went to sleep without a bolster (which was memorably uncomfortable as I was always used to having a bolster) because I wanted to practice in case I got wrongly convicted and sent to prison. And then on the day I turned 18 I remember feeling a huge regret that from then on all wrongdoings will be tried under the adult court.
Back to being average. So yeah. Average. I’m having issues casting aside expectations placed by my own younger self. Maybe it won’t be too bad being anonymous? I don’t know, how do you accept this? I can’t, I’m still fighting it, even though the earlier I accept it, the better will be my emotional well-being and the quicker I can get started with my average life.
But it’s not possible. Complete, unquestioning subservience is beyond me. There’s one way out of this averageness, and it’s something I can see myself doing as a favour to myself and a kick to the God of Averages. It’s traveling around the world. I’ve been obsessed about this whole backpacking business for years now and I see it as an itch that will never go away until it’s been scratched. A huge adventure at last. At least I can grant my younger self that. If I meet her I’ll be able to tell her that she will grow up to see the world. And it won’t be the kind of polite unfair assumption adults make about you despite knowing nothing about you. And I’ll warn her that being average will be unavoidable for the most of us, but we can find greatness in friendships and pleasant surprises and art. And that would finally be some kind of truth.