Coming to the conclusion that you are not destined to be a great mind, agent of change, or contributor to the good of humanity can be hard to accept, at least initially. It’s kind of like coming to the realization that your mother’s reluctance to share the results of your childhood IQ tests is more likely because you scored impressively low than it is because she didn’t want your off-the-chart intelligence to develop into a superiority complex. Nothing is more unfortunate than discovering that your superiority complex is unfounded, I’ll tell you what…
Anyway, after the initial shock and awesome disappointment of neither being a genius nor being the next Mark Zuckerberg, accepting the defeat that is mediocrity appears to be incredibly relieving. I don’t mean to suggest shooting low, but since the majority of us do, I might as well say it, plus, I find comfort in the thought of fraternizing with those who don’t spend their lives aspiring to be an inspiration. I mean, how tiring does that sound? Nap-time tired, that’s how.
I used to aspire to greatness at one point in my life–OK, at many points. But either the drugs wore off or my tendency to associate with losers caused me to realize that I, too, was a loser. The delusions of grandeur and greatness from which I once suffered seemed to lose out to beer and the couch–now greatness is the couch, which may explain why no one wished me happy birthday this year and why I have enough couch-cushion change to open a nonprofit and dedicate it to the pursuit of greatness.
I haven’t always embraced mediocrity and stagnation. In fact, saying I fought that kind of lifestyle for a long period of time would be an understatement, and an understated understatement at that. But there comes a point when you just have to think ‘no one else gives a shit, so why should I’? And I mean that both in terms of my lofty career goals and my habit of mixing granny panties with tights.
The ability to be content and/or live a perpetually boring life is one of those traits I have witnessed and envied in the many men that have come into, and inevitably out of, my life. I don’t know why it’s a male trait but it really is. Ask a woman staring out the window what she’s thinking and you’ll get a summary as dramatic and uninteresting as the content of Oprah’s Book Club. Make the same inquiry to a man staring wistfully and a fart and giggle is the response you are most likely to receive. In a close second place is: “What?” And don’t get me wrong here, I’m not knocking men–if digestive was the only type of distress from which many of us suffered, I could only imagine we would be happy as clams, and probably as smelly as clams, too.
Even though I have been making a concerted effort to do more of thinking less, all too often, I’ll still have ‘what does it all mean’ conversations with myself and/or my cat–with little getting resolved, regardless of the audience. I don’t know why this happens, although I could very easily blame it on alcohol, like I do most other things. But I suspect that giving up is harder than I hope it would be, except for Justin Hawkins who has made millions and stolen hearts (including mine, sigh) by singing about doing so. He is also impressively dedicated to his heroin addiction, so that might play into it … well … all of us have to begin this downward spiral into mediocre awesomeness somewhere, right?