My biggest fear isn’t death. For a very long time it was welcomed, hoped for, and action was taken. Death doesn’t scare me. My biggest fear isn’t failure. Failing is a part of life. I have learned more from my failures than from my successes. My biggest fear isn’t loss. I have lost family, friends, almost everyone who has ever meant anything to me and they didn’t die. I can cope with loss.
My biggest fear is mediocrity.
I don’t want to live a mediocre life. I want to experience everything and see everything. I want my life to be an adventure. I want my life to mean something. I don’t want to settle and I don’t want to settle down. I want to go. Imagine a less energized Energizer Bunny, which is what I want til death do I part.
The problem is. I’m really not destined for greatness. I know it. I don’t think my friends have admitted it yet, but it’s true. I am smarter than the average button, but not smart enough to be a billionaire. Maybe a millionaire if I married and divorced for money.
I’m 23 and tired. My life has been exhausting. I’m emotionally, psychologically, physically worn because of this there is comfort in the idea of mediocrity. Settle down. Get married. Have a couple kids. Enjoy a modest but burgeoning career. Retire with my husband to visit kids and grand kids. To have security, stability, and people to love me when I’m no longer young. It’s wonderful. It’s comforting. It’s normal. It’s what every little girl and grown man dream of. It’s the American dream. It’s not me.
That life would kill me. I think it already is. Other than my real dreams and passions, I figured I would take over corporate America and have a fantastic career… Well I’ve started down that road, working in a skyrise at a job where I have to be a bulldog. I get up every morning, look in the mirror and think: FUCK! I hate this. I hate every part of this. I was not meant to be confined to a suit and a 9 to 5 (although I work an 8 to 6). I was not meant to have a normal corporate career. No part of who I am today can stand this for much longer. I can already start to feel it all slowly happening. One feeling: drowning. Drowning in mediocrity. Then the depression will set in; the self-loathing has kicked in full force. Then I will and have already started to retreat from society, family, friends. Then soon I’m no longer me. I have disappeared into a body that performs every ritual and activity with precision while looking like a paragon. Then I do one of two things. Leave and be me again or end it all. (I actually wrote that part months before I started my job. In one month, it set in. Much faster than usual because all I do is get up and go to work and go to sleep.)
My dreams have never been small. I have always dreamt big. I love to entertain. It is what I’m good at. I’m more comfortable on a stage than with people. I was a talented ballerina until I grew too tall; it became unattainable. I would love to sing. It is one of my greatest joys, but the problem is I can’t quit my job and move to Nashville because I have bills and grown up responsibilities. By the time those are taken care of… I’ll be too old. I would have loved to model, and I had an offer from an agency years ago. Now I’m too fat and too old for that to be a reality. So I have settled on writing as my dream.
I want to be a great writer. I’m not now. Maybe someday I could be. I want to write something that matters. I want to write something that moves people to feel, to demand change, to question the threads of society not just the fabric. I want to write something that won’t end up on the clearance rack at Barnes & Noble within a year. I want to write something worth reading in 200 years.
I don’t want to be mediocre. I don’t want to be normal. I don’t want to wake up every day suffocating.