One of my biggest fears has always been being ordinary.
I mean from the time I was a little girl I always wanted to stand out. I wanted to shine, but was always slightly afraid of what that meant. I felt like I was destined for something bigger than myself with no rhyme or reason to support it. I just wanted to be seen, to be impactful, to have something to say.
I remember in the eighth grade I wanted to speak at graduation so badly. But only the class president automatically got that opportunity. Randomly enough, they opened up a speech contest to assign a second speaker at graduation and I was on it! I wrote my speech. I may still have it somewhere. LOL. And I won. I beat everyone else. I made my way to that stage, proud in my kitten heel DSW shoes and pink floral dress. I peered through crunchy spiral curls and fought back tears, but I delivered. That was one of the first moments that I knew I wanted to be heard. I was so nervous, but something just always pulled me to the light.
Fast forward, we live in a society today where it feels like everyone wants to be seen and heard and it can be so hard to filter through the noise. It’s not as simple as a contest to get your turn in the spotlight. We covet the celebrity lifestyles that we know so much more about now because of social media. And if you don’t have “influencer” in your title you may be looked at as less than.
As much as at some point I felt that I wanted to be the center of attention, the older I get, I find myself challenging that narrative. What the heck is wrong with being regular?
I think of so many people that I have encountered in my lifetime. The teachers, the salespeople, the family friends and more who have had impacts on my life but by all appearances were pretty “regular” people. See the thing that I am learning is that you can indeed be extraordinary even if the world at large never knows it. It’s all about the dedication to what you do. Anything that you approach with excellence will never be ordinary.
We can’t get caught up. Everyone will not be Kim Kardashian or Jay Z or Bey or whatever. Not that they don’t show us what’s possible and it’s amazing that they have achieved such great successes. But I promise you the impact of people way less prominent has probably been more useful in my life and becoming who I am. I refuse to continue to let celebrity culture somehow impact the worth and value of my work and who I am.
Ultimately, I want to have people buy and read my words and that will take people knowing who I am. There is no way to really escape the fact that you have to promote yourself and build an audience. But so what if you never break a million followers. Think about if you had 100 faithful followers that invest $100 per year into your brand. I don’t think you would be doing so badly doing something you love and earning your living from it.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting amazing things for yourself. I still do. I want to make that New York Times Bestsellers list. I am striving to be the greatest version of a writer I have been called to be. But I guess the important lesson that I am learning at this stage in my life is that those things will never define me. You know what’s so much more important in the scheme of our regular lives?
Are you a good person?
Do you treat people well?
Are you giving?
Are you a true reflection of a loving God?
Do you incite joy amongst people you are around?
These things at the end of the day have come to mean more to me than anything else. I think it’s my brother that has the theory that we only come to these revelations if we haven’t “made it” yet. But I truly believe that for some of us, these revelations are what will open the doors to some of the greatness that we have been seeking.
Go for the top! Go for being the best! I would never be against that. But never underestimate the power of what may seemingly be a regular life to someone else. It’s easy to look at other writers and think, “wow they have such a bigger following.” But what if you are the writer that inspires a generation of other writers? May seem regular to some, but the impact of having that kind of influence is indeed something extraordinary in itself.
CLICK TO TWEET /// Never underestimate the power of what may seemingly be a regular life to someone else.
We search for validation in so many things. In our follower counts. In the sheets of people we know don’t love us. In the bottom of a bottle. But stripped down, truly naked of anything the outside world tells you is important, “Do you like the regular you?” It’s one of the most important questions you may ever ask yourself. And if the answer is no, I would recommend doing the inner work first and it will surely be reflected in the outer work.
I’ll work my butt off for people to know my name and my work. But I am becoming more and more satisfied that in the event that I never go any further, I love the woman that I have become. Whether she is considered regular or not.