I was reading a great post over at Endastories. It’s the sort of post that you read and then go away and think about it, and how your life is affected by the content. It got me thinking about my life; is it as I imagined it would be? Is it ordinary and what does that mean? And, if it is ordinary, does that matter?
It’s interesting isn’t it that when you are a teenager, I think you expect to create a real ripple in the world. I know I did! I thought that I would live somewhere grand, have an amazingly important job with an important husband and two perfect children! I strived for the things I wanted to some degree but I also was happy to bumble along and see where life took me. I certainly didn’t have a plan but I knew in my soul at 18 years old that I was not going to be ordinary because ordinary meant boring and that was not going to be me!
I grew up in a very happy and supportive home where education was important. This meant that I left school with a couple of A’Levels and felt that the world was my oyster. As a young girl, I was also lucky to be given the same choices and expectations as my brother. I felt supported enough to go out into the world as a confident young adult without any real fear about what was ‘out there.’ All the seeds were sown for me to do “great things,” judged by the background of Thatcher and the emergence of ‘yuppies’ earning lots of money.
The opposite of ordinary is extraordinary and to be extraordinary you need to be different. Different as a teenage is tricky as that means standing out! I was the kid that liked to party but not too much. I loved sport but was not the best and I certainly wasn’t going to go to Oxford or Cambridge like a couple of my classmates. I dressed like most teenagers in the 80’s, I didn’t always have the latest gadgets and I certainly wasn’t the prettiest girl around. Although this was my reality, it never occurred to me that I might be ordinary! I was just doing my thing and loving my life!
I became a teacher; possibly the most ordinary job around! It was something that I knew in my heart was my vocation and that working in an office would make me miserable. I met my Hubbie, we got married, we had two children and lived in an ordinary house on an estate. Yet, I was still never ordinary! Oh no! Not me…..hang on! Maybe I was ordinary after all?! We go camping, shop at Sainsbury’s and I drove an estate! What was happening? Was I ordinary after all? But was I sad that I was ordinary? Well, actually my life was pretty amazing; I had two brilliant and healthy children, a Hubbie who I adored and a life that well, was happy and fulfilled! OMG I was ordinary and I loved it!
Celebrating the ordinary!
Do you know something? If you are reading this thinking how self assured I sound, well I am! I know that I am ordinary and I couldn’t care less that this is the term used to describe my life! Once, I may have felt disappointed that my life turned out to be ordinary. In those times when I was living with very little sleep or money, then stress would make it seem that every one else must be having a better life than me. Do you know what? Comparing your life with another will make you unhappy. There will always be someone who has more shoes, holidays or seemingly better behaved children than you. I think we need to be more accepting of our own lives and celebrate what we have. I love my life! Ordinary can be amazing because it’s our ordinary!
So, if you are feeling that your life hasn’t really turned out the way you imagined as a teenager, you are not alone! Every teenager has dreams and that’s brilliant! Let them go out into the world with big dreams and find their ordinary. After all, being ordinary can be brilliant!