I am nobody special

I was driving home from visiting a friend tonight, and passed one of the local high schools. The message board below the school’s sign announced the name of one of their students as having won a World Youth championship something or other.

My instant thought was – I’d like my name displayed like that, to be recognized for a stunning feat or achievement. And that’s when I realised, it never has been. I am nobody special. I was a good student most of the way through school, but never absolute top of the class. I’ve never broken any records, done anything truly amazing, been abnormal in any way really. Sure I had acheivements and accomplishments in my own right throughout – but nothing that wasn’t a totally run-of-the-mill thing. I’m not an athlete, I’m not a world chess player or a prodigy musician.

So, okay, no big news flash, right? But in a way it really was. My parents, like any doting parents building up their child, raised me ‘knowing’ I was special and gifted and wonderful, with a healthy dose of responsibility bestowed upon me. I was Intelligent, I was Gifted, and thus surely I would Become Somebody. It worked great in primary school – I figured I was the best – or at least among the best – and that was, of course, my natural position.

So when I grew up a bit, and more was required of me, and I learned to think for myself and to question, I saw myself as decidedly average. And ever since then I have believed that I am a tragic let-down, as I obviously haven’t come close to fulfilling my potential. Which, maybe, is true. Maybe every ‘normal’ child really has the potential to become the next Einstein, Picasso, Thorpedo or similar. But all I’ve seen is that I am not standing out, I am not excelling above the rest of my peer group, I am just humming along fairly smack dab in the middle. Of my graduating class, one of my classmates works for Congress. I’m not in active touch with her but I’ve always held her as an example of where I ‘should’ be. Not that I want to work for Congress – but that I should have a similarly high-flying, top-of-my-field job. Thus, my staying home with my very average husband, raising children in a barefoot but not pregnant type situation was clearly me wasting my life. I have always reckoned that I am the epitome of a waste of potential.

Tonight I realised I’ve never had my name in lights. I have not tragically fallen from any platform. The only platform I’ve ever been on has been attached to my shoes – and when I fell from that, I tossed the shoes out and bought Crocs.

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5 thoughts on “I am nobody special

  1. Aww you don’t need your name in lights to be amazing. I think it makes you more amazing. Modesty is a fantastic thing. You are special.

  2. Your name is in lights though, in my heart and the hearts of all of us who value you as the amazing friend and woman you are. You’re pretty darn special to me too.

  3. Funny thing about our perceptions of ourselves, they are almost always wrong. I can assure you that you are far from average or run of the mill. Some of the most amazing people you will ever meet will never have their name in lights or stand on that award platform. Heck, most of the people we admire from history weren’t considered great until long after they were dead.

    You are a rockstar to a long list of people. Your parents, your husband, your daughters, your friends, and probably quite a few people you’ve never met and don’t even know you’ve effected.

    You are kind, sweet, loving, amazing, sexy, funny, intelligent, curious, giving, modest, humble, interesting, engaging, outrageous, supportive, beautiful. and caring. And about a million other adjectives that I don’t have the room nor the brain power to list.

    Having your name in lights doesn’t mean you’re successful. It means there’s going to be an extra electric bill to pay. And who wants that? 😛

  4. I know how you feel, i think its the 25-35ish age area when you realize that hang on, nothings holding you back really is it?

    10 years back i was 150kg solo mother of 4 kids freshly divorced, smoking, living in slums, no skills or qualifications. I never did well in school, dropped out as soon as I was able and was pregnant by 17.

    Now im around 70-75kg, married, in a posh area with a flash house, and been employed in one of the more complex/core IT areas in the industry (Linux sysadmin and programming etc).

    It is possible to change and be that shining star totally! Go for it!

    Liz
    ps. I’ll be in Womans Weekly next week if ya don’t believe me 🙂
    ps.

  5. My goals for you never included having your name in lights. I want you to be healthy, independent, responsible, hard working, educated, honest, thoughtful, and caring. You are. That makes me consider myself a very successful parent. It is my hope that you will be mostly happy, cheerful, and content as well. But I think for most people those characteristics vary from day to day.

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