When I was little, I wanted blue eyes and straight blonde hair. There was a girl I knew who all the boys “loved”. She was the one the boys I liked always talked to and I often felt unnoticed. Some days she’d call me on the phone just to rub it in that my crush spoke to her and she’d share what they talked about, as though she knew I was wishing it had been me.
Opposite to her straight, thick blonde hair, my curly dark brown hair was sometimes frizzy and wild. On days it was, I’d pull it up into a ponytail and use gel to slick back the frizz. I’d put on my slightly thick, clear-framed glasses and make sure I didn’t have any food in my braces before leaving the house. I didn’t realize then how geeky I looked, and for that, I’m thankful.
I’d pride myself on not wearing the styles of the day because I refused to be average.
I’d see the girls proudly walking into Hollister and buying skin tight shirts that were cheaply made, and they’d spend a fortune on them because well…it was Hollister. I remember thinking to myself, “These girls are paying a fortune to advertise for this company. They’re the ones who should be getting paid.”
Years later, I look back and I chuckle at that gawky teenage girl who wondered if she’d ever be seen. She had friends whom she loved, but she never quite felt fully accepted in their group. In groups of three, she was the one pushed to the side. She’d be left out of the inside jokes or somehow miss the secrets being exchanged. She never quite felt like she really fit.
Deep down inside, she had this burning desire and understanding that she was made for more.
More than the status quo.
More than the people she watched around her, struggling to get ahead.
More than average.
Ugh. Average. She hated that word. It was a 4-letter word in her book. She’d tell herself, again and again, I refuse to be average. She purposefully wouldn’t buy the fashion trends because she didn’t want to follow the crowd. She’d make her own style trendy instead, whether or not anyone joined.
And now that the curly, brown-haired girl is just a couple years shy of thirty, her eyes are opening to the fact it was all preparation for this. The disdain for being average is what motivated her to be seen and heard, not because she followed the status quo but because she fought it. When people were giving the minimum, she was giving her best. When others were being lazy, she was striving to make moments count.
The twenties tend to be the decade so many throw away. They take forever to graduate college, if they even go. They party their lives away and work a dead-end 9-5, figuring they’ll get a “real job” when they’re thirty. Looking back, I refused to be the person that youth was wasted on. I purposed in my heart that I’d make this decade count…and it has.
Even in this quarantine, I’m learning things about myself I didn’t take the time to acknowledge before. I’m seeing flaws I’ve ignored and purposed in my heart the things I’m going to change. It’s easy to look back and chuckle at the naive person we were. If only she knew then what I know now we might think. Truthfully, that’s always how it is.
What if we took the time NOW to grow and recognize the areas of our life we’re being wasteful in – be it in money, time, or energy. What areas are you not making the most of? Now is the best time to take steps to make a change. The world isn’t slowing down and this day will never happen again.
And while it’s important to look at how far we’ve come, it’s also important to look at where we want to go. It’s been said, “If you aim for nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” But let’s set the bar higher, shall we? Decide on a goal and aim for it. Stop being average and comparing yourself to the world around you. Set your bar high.
Instead of being content with average, aim for extraordinary. The only person stopping you from reaching it, is you.