What if I want to live a perfectly ordinary life?
What if I don’t want to rush, and push, and force my way through life only to stumble out the other side wondering why I didn’t breathe every once in while?
A while ago I read this blog post in which the author talks about accepting her life, her talents, and her body as they are. No, she isn’t going to purposefully adopt bad habits, or surround herself in negativity. She’s not saying “to hell with it” either. She’s simply taking a look at herself and saying “okay, I like this.”
Everything she does, as long as her best effort is given, is enough. She’s not constantly trying to one-up herself, others, or, fantastically, the world itself.
She’s not sacrificing the smudge of time she has on Earth to pursue goals that create a temporary and unsustainable status quo for her life.
“What if I just accept this mediocre body of mine that is neither big nor small? Just in between. And I embrace that I have no desire to work for rock hard abs or 18% body fat. And I make peace with it and decide that when I lie on my deathbed I will never regret having just been me. Take me or leave me.”Krista O’Reilly Davi-Digui / Mar 21, 2017 – nosidebar.com
Pardon me, as I aggressively agree with this sentiment.
When I was in college there was a weird vibe. I went to a tiny school (by comparison), and everyone still seemed to be striving for an enormous life where they accomplished fantastic, and world-altering things. They weren’t just a marketing professional; they worked for a Fortune 500 company in New York City, where they partied every night, but still climbed the ladder, found time for a family, broke glass ceilings and doors, lived fit and trim with personal trainers, and rubbed elbows with the best of the best in their field.
There was an odd expectation for everyone to, maybe not actually achieve this, but want this and, again, I went to a tiny school. I can’t imagine what it must be like to go to Harvard or Yale. Or attend college with any sort of parental pressure. The stress to be top in your field, or the expectation to Hulk-smash your way to the top must be crippling.
It didn’t take me long to realize that “cut throat” was not a term I wanted to build my life around. Not only am I not that type of person, but it’s a terrible outlook on life in general.
I believe there is an inherent joy in simplicity: the joy of not having to constantly look, the joy of not feeling like you’re always missing or forgetting something.
Before college, I spent nearly every night thinking, stressing, and crying over my future and career. What would I do? Where would I go? How would I get there?
After school, while unemployed, I spent every night thinking, stressing, and crying over my future and career. What would I do? What if I screwed it up? What if I wasn’t good enough? What happened if I failed?
I built up this world in my head where, no matter what, I had to be overly successful to even make college, or life for that matter, worth it. My college career would be a waste, I would waste time, if I spent my time at a regular job — or being a stay-at-home mom. So I looked at large companies, and the big cities, for positions that would boost my resume. Take me to the top.
But for what?
This idea dissipated as fast as my excitement for college did (i.e. like, over night), and I started to realize that all I wanted was a job I loved, for a company I believed in, with people I could tolerate, in a place I felt comfortable.
That isn’t too much to ask for, right? I could be happy making nearly no money, if it meant waking up every morning and being excited to go to work.
I could handle working in a small company, helping them impact their own small corner of the world, if it meant caring about what I do.
I could easily love raising well-behaved, well-adjusted, goofy, fun, beautiful children in a crazy world, with a man I truly loved, in a cozy home.
I don’t have a problem with striving to be the best. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. But nothing is worth the sacrifice of your sanity and precious time. We are meant for so much more.
One thing I’ve discovered I want, so badly, is to find my space. My corner of this earth where I can just be. Where I love to be, and exist, and grow, but never force.
I just want a mediocre life. With normal goals. Ordinary days. I want every moment to count towards something bigger, and more beautiful, than this world and its complicated, meaningless intricacies.
© Elaine Marie Blog 2018