Being Average

Notes on Creativity theme of the week:


I am starting to realize that I am just plain average. That feeling of being special, of being able to change the world is giving way to a clear-eyed view of my limitations and lack of power in the universe. I think it’s called growing up- a transformation which is occurring later and later in life these days.

Reaching for the stars and planning for all the important things I will accomplish have taken a back seat to wrestling with how to survive the mundane.

Though this is definitely disappointing, in another way it’s quite liberating. I no longer have to be the one to save the world. The pressure is off. And if I don’t ever really accomplish anything, well, what could I have expected of myself- I was only ever average. 

In the midst of this epiphany, I am drawn to creative work- to write, build, experiment with colour and concept, find new outlets. I have average talent in all of these, yet I pursue them still, realizing that my motive for creating is no longer to express my uniqueness, it is simply to experience joy.

Image Source



Today’s 4 Minute Writer  

Things that Didn’t Happen

We are often encouraged to count our blessings, to give thanks for all we have. Yet, how often are we thankful for what we don’t have or for what does not befall us? 

Here I go giving it a try.

I am thankful that today:

1. The car speeding through the yellow traffic light didn’t run me over.

2. I didn’t go hungry or thirsty.

3. I wasn’t attacked by zombies. That would suck. A lot.

Image source

This fun post was inspired by 1095 things I am grateful for as referenced by Kate.

Use the comment field to suggest a topic or to comment.


Filed under Creativity, Writing

17 responses to “Being Average

  1. Confession: sometimes I wear a Superman t-shirt underneath my shirt because I think I can save the world. Perhaps I have not yet grown up.

  2. I question the statement on the T-shirt: Unleash the power of mediocrity. It’s cute and appeals to those who feel powerless and thus entitled to drop the ball on changing the world. But. The Holy Spirit inside a believer is powerful. Through prayer we have our finger on the hottest power button anywhere, and faith releases not the power of mediocrity but the power of almighty God. You are neither average nor mediocre, Zoe, and the world is waiting. 🙂

    I like the Things That Didn’t Happen story. I often than God that way. Our world is so hazardous that we must be thankful for things that didn’t happen. Also, this reminds me of something I heard more than once about Mrs. Billy Graham. She said that she thanked God for unanswered prayers because, without those unanswered prayers, she’d have married the wrong man five times! Blessings to you…

    • “The Holy Spirit inside a believer is powerful.” I like this statment because it supports the idea of the individual not having to be remarkable in any way- it is Someone else working through them who is the remarkable one. Good thought- thanks.

      • Carol Ann Hoel

        Yes, you are right. Our responsibity is to allow Him to operate through us. What you just said is better stated than my comment.

  3. This is a bit long. Sorry.
    I’m right there with you on the Zombie thing. I, too, pause every day to be thankful they have not caught up with me.
    I thought I was mediocre for a while.
    But I am me, there can be only one, and I am creating as I was made to create. Because I think our lives are creations. Even the mundane is a work of art
    Critics, publishers, contemporaries, they may have an opinion – but I am playing out a story which will only ever happen once to this universe. And you, Zoe, play out such a fabulous story which I sense has barely begun. Your ability to question and analyse, using parables and examples, and draw out those around you is anything – anything – but mediocre.

    • I always enjoy your comments whether they are long or short or in between!
      We are all playing out a story aren’t we. I hope it doesn’t involve zombies. Nasty things.
      I think it’s about having a realistic view of oneself- everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Being able to look at these in a matter-of-fact way is important so we don’t get crushed by a burst inflated ego, or let recognition go to our heads.

  4. I want permission to be mediocre. I think I would feel a great sense of relief if I truly allowed myself to believe that. Yet, I don’t and I know I can’t…nor do I suspect do you.
    I am thankful that our roof didn’t collapse overnight from all this snow!

    • There’s a fine balance between not setting our expectations of ourselves so high that we are never able to attain them and settling for underachievement. I suspect the balance keeps shifting as we grow. It’s hard being human. I bet zombies have an easier time.
      I’m tired, oh, so tired of winter. This has not been an average winter!

  5. I’m with you Zoe. We can’t all be Mother Teresa. 🙂

    When we accept our irrelevance, we liberate ourselves from the “should haves” and become free to embrace whatever we “want to.”

    “Don’t worry about what the world wants from you, worry about what makes you come more alive. Because what the world really needs are people who are more alive.” ~ Lawrence Le Shan

    On the second piece: When I’m feeling grateful about the “positives” . . . I don’t need to be thankful for the absence of “negatives.” But . . . if I’m on the verge of throwing a pity party for myself, I try to play the “it could be worse” game. That’s when I’m thankful for the absence of zombies in my life. 🙂

    • It is freeing to realize that it’s not up to me to save the entire planet. Losing the God-complex is an important step to putting things in their proper place.
      Thanks for the link to your post. Food for thought and interesting discussion too.
      Glad to hear you haven’t had any zombie visits.

  6. Oh, how i wish i could agree with you on this.
    Average is a word i truly hate.
    But that is probably just me.
    The day i accept the label average i will probably die inside.
    Society needs it trend setters, leaders and heroes.

    • Maybe I’m just going through a phase. Time will tell.
      “The day i accept the label average i will probably die inside.” How would I feel if someone referred to me as ‘average’? Hmmm…. To be quite honest, in a way I’d be relieved. It would mean that the flaws that seem huge to me didn’t stand out to them nearly as much…

  7. I really like the idea of creating for the joy of it instead of creating for the benefit of others. And likely, in the end, it will bring others joy, as well.

    • This is something I’m wrestling with right now. It’s important to me that when I create it serve some purpose outside of myself. Yet, it is precisely when I don’t even think about others that the joy is the greatest. Your point is a great one- to let the created do what it will, and if it finds its way to bringing others joy, that would be fantastic, but outside of my control.

  8. Your alternative list brought a huge smile to my face, Zoë, specially the ‘Zombie’ entry :-D.

    • I’ve been wondering if there’s such a thing as friendly zombies that one would want to meet, a kind that doesn’t eat humans. Not sure what they would eat- vegetables? chocolate? If they did eat chocolate I’m sure they’d be a much happier bunch.

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