The Fear Of Mediocrity

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be extraordinary. Even as a kid I refused to settle for mediocrity, I always had to be number one. I’d daydream for hours on what my future would hold even when my career choices would change as often as the seasons passed. One year I’d want to be a doctor and the next a politician. In high school, I went through a phase where I was obsessed with Hillary Clinton. I read her biography religiously and was so adamant on following in her footsteps and becoming the next senator of New York. I sometimes replay in my head a moment where I was sharing this with my science teacher and he seemed to find it to be the most hilarious thing he’d heard. I proceeded to tell him he’ll be sorry for laughing when I’ve achieved that. Safe to say, fast forward to so many years later I am not a senator and nowhere near it.

Right before it was time to start submitting college applications, I had a change of heart. For some odd reason and partially to please my Middle Eastern parents, I decided to go with a more scientific route. I chose to study Pharmacy. I’d always been good at biology and chemistry and I figured hey, why not. I was good at it for the first two years, by the third year it had just made me miserable and completing the rigorous five year program seemed more like a prison sentence than an achievement. Seemingly by the graces of God I managed to graduate with a fairly decent GPA and buckets of tears and sweat later I had a bachelor’s degree. Throughout my college years, I’d tried to find a creative outlet so I wouldn’t drive myself insane. I landed in the radio industry and made great strides. I would schedule all of my classes back to back without any breaks so I could leave campus and race to work. There I would throw myself into my work and dedicate every single minute to my new “side project”. I tired of always being asked why a pharmacy major would want to pursue a career in media. Simple I would say, I had found my calling.

Once I had graduated, I realized my work was not as valued as I thought it was. In my head, I thought I had paid my dues working relentlessly through the night every night. The only job offers I was receiving were entry-level jobs being as I had been a fresh graduate. Yes a fresh graduate, but one with four years of work already under her belt. Employers mostly care about being cost-effective. By convincing me that I was still considered a fresh graduate obviously they could justify why they wanted to pay me less. It never made sense to me because it was not as if I was going to work with my degree. It was a bullshit argument that wasn’t in my favor. All the planning and networking I had done were of a little use to me at this point. What a major blow to my ego.

Fast forward to several years after that, I am 26 without much sense of where my life is headed. The truth is I’m not where I was last year and I can’t even begin to imagine where I will be next. What I can come away with is being ambitious is a blessing and a burden. It gives you the drive to go out and pursue even your wildest dreams, but it also makes you your own worst critic. The people around me can rattle off a list of things I’ve achieved or should be grateful for. I am grateful, but at times I feel like that same kid who just wanted settled. I get into these obsessive states. I obsess over details and days and minutes I have lost. It’s a whirlwind of feelings that prevents you from living. My mother would always tell me to stop stressing over the future and enjoy the moment. The truth is since I’m not where I want to be in life the world seems frozen. A lot of my days are just one big blur which pains me to say the least. BUT I’ve learned to come to terms with it. Life will throw you curve balls and send you spinning, but enjoy the little things while they are still there. You may not always get what you want as I’ve come to learn no matter how many moleskins you fill with your plans. Go out and start living. Experience as many things as you possibly can and you will find your inspiration. Quite possibly even your light at the end of the tunnel. You will never be mediocre as long as you are YOU. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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