I’ve been watching this this article swirling around Facebook lately titled “What if all I want is a mediocre life?”. It written by a woman who asks if not wanting to save the world and strive for excellence and be all of the things makes her not enough; what if she just wants to be a wife and mom and sister and live quietly and contently?
I cringe every time the author says I think it is enough. I know that she is making the point that we all have limitations, most of which fall far short of our societal hyped up expectations.
I know that we are on the same side but I still want to scream.
Isn’t anyone actually going to say it out loud?
It is more than enough. It is everything.
The women who posted this (and yes, it was only women) are ones that I consider anything but mediocre. One is a nurse who story is one of extraordinary strength. She inspires me regularly just by being who she is – a mom of a teenager, a tragedy survivor, a sober warrior, an advocate for love and truth and healing, all done with a sense of humor and realness that can’t be ignored.
The second one is a teacher of nearly twenty years who has dedicated her life to serving others, someone that hundreds upon hundreds of families have entrusted with their children’s hearts and minds on a daily basis. She has a sense of duty to her students and to her family that leaves me slack-jawed at times. It’s a special kind of love that gives someone the strength to reset every day and come back to fight the good fight. She has been there to help me dry my tears more than once and I know that I am not the first or last broken teacher heart she will console. It’s who she is.
I’ve seen it posted in various groups by stay at home moms and single women, women whose children have left home and ones who were childfree by choice and by chance, married women and divorced women, young and old, each of them staking their claim on the mediocre life.
I’m super pissed about it. Not because these women are choosing, proudly to follow their hearts, but because they’re in a position to have to label that choice as some kind of downgrade.
Who decided that designing a life is mediocre?
Why are we letting women believe that following their hearts – their big, beautiful hearts that are filled with love for their families for their careers for their quiet, chosen lives – is mediocre?
Since when is being yourself an exercise in settling?
Being extraordinary isn’t about what you do, it is who you are. Sometimes extraordinary looks like crying in the bathroom because you love those kids so fucking much and putting a door between you and the small crazy person you are raising is the safest, sanest thing for everyone in the moment. Sometimes it looks like leaving a relationship that no longer serves you, even if It looks like you’re giving up everything to the people around you. Extraordinary feels like walking your dog in the rain for the billionth time, because dammit, you fucking love that scrawny mutt. Extraordinary looks like holding hands and couples therapy and picking up Monday night pizza because it’s your least favorite night of the week. Extraordinary wakes up every day and chooses love, even when it is hard.
The idea that choosing the life that fulfills you could ever be less than extraordinary is the myth that needs to be fought. The things that you love are not second class; nothing that you genuinely love can be.