You can ask my parents (and most people who know me), and they will tell you I’ve always, always been competitive.
I honestly can’t pinpoint anything in particular that led me to be this way (being an only child? attending a small school where I was always one of the top students?), but you could say that I’m a bit hard on myself.
In some aspects, this is a positive trait. I’ve
never rarely let peers influence my behavior, I long to learn as much as I can, I don’t half-ass things (that matter—things that don’t matter, such as cleaning my house regularly, I’ll gladly overlook!), and I realize I deserve good things (like an incredibly intelligent, handsome husband!) and don’t often settle.
In some ways, though, this nature can be my downfall. I’m notorious for falling into the “comparison trap.” I get upset when I fail (and often blame others instead of accepting that maybe I wasn’t the right choice or didn’t prepare as well as I could’ve, etc.). I sometimes sit on the sidelines rather than take a big risk.
Nevertheless, I’ve learned over the last couple of years that being average is pretty sweet.
I read this post on Monday, and it got me thinking about how I’ve come to terms with living my life in the middle of the road, so to speak.
I’ve embraced the fact that I’ll never be one of those women who “lean in” at all costs.
I truly have no desire to work day in and day out to achieve something extraordinary.
As much as I miss academia, I don’t feel inferior to my friends (and husband) who have post-graduate degrees (although I have entertained the idea of going back to school when Baby M is older—but that’s just an idea right now).
I have my moments, but it doesn’t really matter to me that I’m not in tip-top physical shape almost a year after giving birth.
I’m proud of the balance and normalcy of my life.
I’m a working mom.
I still love learning—even if it’s not in a classroom or for some measure of merit.
I make time for soaking up the little things in life.
I actually enjoy being in the background rather than the spotlight.
No, I don’t look down at the concept of average anymore.
This isn’t to say I’m lazy or that I don’t strive to be better.
I’m not complacent. My eyes are always open for new ideas and realizations. I empathize with those less fortunate than me and aim to influence others by simply being a friend.
I guess you could say my purpose has changed.
In my simple, average life—my purpose is to be the best wife and mommy I can be. It’s to take time for myself, but it’s also to show my sweet son his potential. It’s to help or encourage everyone I encounter in small ways all the time as opposed to achieving one great thing and nothing more. (That’s not to say you can’t do both or that we no longer need groundbreaking insights or achievements—we certainly do, and I admire those who aim high and work tirelessly to reach their dreams!)
I guess what I’m saying is that my current goals are not measured in academic letters or trophies or promotions right now.
We all have different goals. Perhaps I’ll make some notable achievement days or months or years from now, but right now, my purpose is to find balance and enjoy each moment possible of my “average” life.
[linking up for thinking out loud]