Okay With Being Ordinary

There is a lot of pressure in our culture to be different. Be unique. Don’t just follow the leader, forge your own path.

Hipsters are pretty much defined by their quest to determine the latest trend; to find the gem of a restaurant before everyone else; to become fans of that small indie band before they have their first hit played on the radio. Meanwhile, chain restaurants, sedans, planned subdivisions and big box stores are all seen as boring and ordinary.

As a teenager, I wasn’t the best looking girl in my group of friends, nor did I perform best academically or become the star athlete. I wasn’t lacking in any of these areas, I just wasn’t the best. I was average and ordinary. I’ve always been a good person, just not terribly exciting, and I’m ok with that. I decided a while back that I was going to stop trying to be cool. I like what I like and I am what I am and if that makes some people see me as boring or mainstream, then so be it.

I feel much more comfortable living in the suburbs with manicured medians and convenient, well-planned strip malls than I would in a city. I browse the racks at my local Goodwill, but I would much prefer that pretty top from Old Navy, even if there is a real possibility that I will run into someone wearing the exact same thing. Costco has surprisingly good pizza, on top of great bulk meat prices that allow me to fill my freezer. When on a road trip with my family, I know I can’t go wrong getting the soup-salad-breadsticks combo at Olive Garden.

The notion of being a okay with being a boring person was at the center of the plot of the recent blockbuster book and film, The Fault in Our Stars. While Augustus wanted very badly to do something outstanding that would make a lot of people remember him after his death, Hazel tried to help him realize that if there is just one person whose life you impact, shouldn’t that be enough?

We can’t all be superstars. How does that saying go? If everyone is special, then no one is special.

A friend pulled me aside not long ago and told me that he’d recently come to the same realization as I had. He was correct in assuming that his confession was safe with me. This idea of being okay with being ordinary is starting to become a more mainstream, acceptable way of thinking. But just for the record, I did it before it was cool.

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