(Graphics by jennetliaw.com)
You may recognize this title from a song by Duran, Duran. After all, it was one of their popular hits from, gasp!…the nineteen-nineties.
Ordinary, you say?
I think not.
What is ordinary anyway?
When we think of ordinary, we might cringe at the thought with a sense of commonness, of something unremarkable, average, dull, boring or even predictable.
Ordinary? Who me?
Who of us wants to be predictable?
I mean, don’t we all like to think of ourselves as extraordinary?
You know, strange, odd, unusual, bizarre, or weird.
Oh wait, that’s the wrong definition! Ha, ha, ha!
No. We want to be exceptional, amazing, astonishing—
But what makes us so special that we don’t want to be ordinary?
It’s when we start to think of ordinary as a bad thing.
Because it really isn’t.
We all start out being ordinary.
However, what makes us feel as though being ordinary means that we’re not good enough?
Is it the fear of not being special?
Perhaps. But more than likely it’s the world that we live in. It’s the influence from society to always do better, be better, to never ever settle.
But there are holes in that ideology. For one, the recognition we seek could lead to discontentment if we put too much emphasis on fame, which has lead many to feel unhappy with what they’ve accomplished.
This of course has had a negative affect. For some, belief in the ordinary has instilled a fear of limitation and weakness. And it’s simply not true. It only feels true because we’re taught not to settle, like it’s a disease, as if we’ve been caught standing in a quagmire of mediocrity.
Except, I don’t think so.
Sometimes we need to catch our breathe. Sometimes we just need to be.
To be ordinary.
And what’s wrong with that?
What’s wrong with being satisfied? What’s wrong with being content and grateful for everything we’ve achieved?
We could be happier. Our days could be calm, filled with an inner peace instead of a crippling, unquenchable desire to be extraordinarily special.
(Photo by blissfulanddomestic.com)
Remember what Duran Duran said:
“But I won’t cry for yesterday
There’s an ordinary world
Somehow I have to find.
And as I try to make my way
To the ordinary world
I will learn to survive.”
Yes, we will survive.
We will survive whether we are ordinary or extraordinary.
It doesn’t really matter.
What matters is that we’re happy. Happy with ourselves. Happy with our family. Happy with our friends, our faith, our work.
Because we’re all ordinary people.
Doing extraordinary things.
In a not so ordinary world.
So what do you think? How do you feel about being ordinary? Do you feel pressured to be more than you are? Do you feel it’s possible to reach a level of satisfaction from what you’ve achieved? If not, what do you think it will take in order to feel content and happy? And what is your favorite Duran Duran song?
Cheers everyone! I hope that life is treating you well. And as always, thank you so much for all your support and wonderful comments!
Thanks to my faith, I have learned to embrace the magic of the ordinary. Every cup of tea, every kind word, every leaf, every simple moment is brimming with magic if we only open ourselves up to it. And realizing that has been liberating. When I realize that every moment of life is magical, I’m more grateful, more content, happier, more at peace. What a beautiful post, Karen, and a great reminder to embrace the ordinary in ourselves and in the world around us!
Denise D. Young recently posted..Thoughts on ‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert
Oh my goodness Denise! This will tell you how active I’ve been at my blog. I didn’t realize you had dropped by and left a comment. And such a thoughtful and encouraging comment. You are one extraordinary woman! Thank you so much. 🙂
Great post, Karen! Sorry I’m late to the party. I’ve been contemplating this topic lately, about how competitive our society has become. So good food for thought for me.
Thank you Kassandra! Now worries girlfriend. But that’s interesting. That’s why I wrote about this subject. I think the pressure from competition can throw us off balance and can make us feel unworthy, as though we’re not good enough. Which is sad. As ordinary people we can strive for the extraordinary. The important thing is that we’re happy with ourselves and in turn, others will follow. I can’t wait to read the post your write about this subject. 🙂
A very important message, thanks for reminding me, Karen 🙂
Yvette, you are do welcome. Always remember you are extraordinary! 🙂
I don’t mind being ordinary at all. Ordinary means I’m doing okay.
Some days I strive for extraordinary, some days I make it. Most days, ordinary means I’m living and breathing and loving life.
Here’s to all the ordinary people.
w/a Jansen Schmidt
See, yes Patricia, that’s exactly what I was trying to convey. I love how you express it. “…ordinary means I’m living and breathing and loving life.” Absolutely! You are an extraordinarily ordinary girl! And that’s a very good thing. 🙂
Each of us is so special in our own way, so even if we’re ordinary, we are unique. Thanks for the thought provoking post, Karen!
Hi Sheila! I think you summed the post up perfectly. Yes, we are all uniquely special in our own ordinary way. I’m all about the no pressure. I like to see people enjoy what they do. I feel that we achieve extraordinary things when we’re the most happy with ourselves. Thus, there is beauty in the ordinary. 🙂
I think the fear of being ordinary is deeply rooted in being in entertainment, or wanting to achieve in any other area (such as business), because ordinary doesn’t get attention (and therefore, money). We hear from agents and editors that they want books that are “really emotional, really scary, really thrilling, or really sexy.” Just emotional, scary, thrilling, sexy isn’t enough. Or if we’re going directly to readers, ordinary won’t get any attention from them, either. I think more readers (and more money) would make me happy, but who knows? There is a lot to be said for being happy with where we are, and sometimes, that’s enough for me, too.
Oh, and “The Reflex” is my favorite Duran Duran song. 🙂
Jennette Marie Powell recently posted..Kitchen Progress
I love Reflex Jennette! Great song choice. And yes, I agree with you. We are constantly pushed by the powers that be to the point that I’ve seen writers lose their joy. And that’s sad really. We should enjoy what we do. We should gain great satisfaction from what we achieve, yet, we are told that we aren’t good enough. There’s always a push to achieve what’s practically impossible. Oh yes, isn’t money always involved? So I think we need to trust our gut and do what we love. That’s when we’ll see beauty in the ordinary as we create the extraordinary. 🙂
Kindness resonates from this. Thank you Karen!
Thank you Julia! Yes, I think if anything, I was trying to convey that we should be kind to ourselves. Too often we are led to believe that no matter how hard we try, we’re not good enough which I think is so sad because each and every one of us is extraordinary in our own ordinary way. 🙂