I am average.
Most of you (the few of you?) who read this are also average. You likely make between 46-68,000 a year. You either rent or own a modest home, probably in the suburbs somewhere. You own one to two cars. You have an IQ near or around 100. You may have gone to college, but you also may have acquired vocational certificates. You probably work an 8 hour day during bank hours.
Average is average… because it’s average. Most people on the planet are average, seems pretty obvious. Soooo why this inherent disdain for the word? Why are we constantly shying away from the term as though it is somehow dirty, or it somehow lessens us when we apply it to ourselves on paper? Shouldn’t it be obvious by now that we, as a whole person, are far more than whatever might be collected into some mystical file somewhere.
We all fit into some sort of demographic; we are all statistics and numbers filed away by some equally average person in an office somewhere probably praying for five o’clock to roll around so they can maybe stop by their local bar for a drink. They don’t know us, we don’t know them, we aren’t strangers exactly; we’re acquainted numbers. We see each other across the news streams in percentages and tallies. But is that the sum total? Is that all we are?
There is a pervasive notion that by admitting to being ‘average’ you are somehow settling. That you’ve accepted the drudgery of life and have no drive or will to press forward, to grow, to be better. I, on the other hand, like to call it reality. I am not going to develop the next massive software company or discover the cure for a deadly disease. I don’t have the knowledge, skill, intelligence or drive to do so. Most of us don’t. That’s just fact. I may someday write a book with a questionable amount of success and that’s really all I drive toward in life. I love to write, I’m moderately good at it… and that’s really enough for me. I have never had my sights set on some lucrative career but I certainly don’t begrudge those who do. We need those people as much as we need the average office worker to ‘paper push’ and allow things to work at a steady, seamless level. They deserve our respect because they (we) are needed. We are the driving force behind this economy. We are the middle class, historically the most economically important class to a healthy society.
I enjoy my engineering job, it isn’t exactly my passion but it allows me to provide a comfortable home for myself and my daughter and I want for very little in life. I enjoy living simply but comfortably. I appreciate those inherent skills that have lead me here and can feel proud of those obstacles that I have overcome to earn the title ‘average.’ Because there are far worse things in this life than being regular and I hate to see it being used as a dirty word. We should strive for excellence but we shouldn’t beat ourselves up for falling below the mark of socially approved superiority. We can’t all be astronauts; we can’t all be the CEO.
I’m not ashamed to be average. I find comfort in those things I find comfort in. I don’t allow the rest of the world to dictate the measure of my worth or success because… why should I? Why should their opinion matter toward my overall happiness? This life is mine and I choose not to spend it chasing those things that I can’t have and that, in all honesty, I really don’t want. Live by your own means, by your own measure of worth and don’t allow yourself to see your entire life as little more than a series of statistics that define everything about you. They do not take into account the ferocity of your passions, of your everyday actions, of your dreams and inner strengths. Be proud to be average because truly, you are anything but.