“Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible.”
― Albert Einstein
Being ordinary can be a good thing. No-one really expects anything from you. No-one expects you to scale mountains or walk under water. Or fly like a bird to cast shadows below or walk without wanting to reach anywhere. No-one expects you to use hand signs to communicate or settle for the most edible thing in your plate. No-one expects you to survive depleting oxygen levels or numb toes. No-one expects you to face your worst fears or even conquer them. No-one expects anything but ‘ordinary’ from you. And, somewhere, along the way, you start to believe it’s true.
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
― Paulo Coelho
Strangely, I’ve always thought myself to be far from ordinary. It might sound pompous to some, and that’s funny, because, I’ve never been known for my confidence. As a kid, I thought, I’d become a famous saint. Maybe, it was a heavy dose of books on the pious or Sunday school or a systematic drilling of the need to be a good person. It faded as quickly as my fluctuating faith. In my teens, I thought I could become an astrophysicist. I suspect, it was all that staring out of my bedroom window that made me crave the stars. That went out of the window too. And in my twenties, I thought I’d write a book someday. Don’t we all have a good book in us?
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
― Helen Keller
When things didn’t work, I tried to be more ordinary. I tried to fit in, get a job that paid bills, conform to what works (whatever that maybe), and be happy with the thought of not being expected to achieve anything but the ‘ordinary’. I’ve realised being ordinary isn’t as easy, especially, if you’re not inclined to it. The challenges of wanting to achieve more — will haunt you and soon enough — you’d realise you’re not cut out for it. Regrets will kill you before boredom can. And, life will never be good enough.
I’ve often wondered, what will we truly leave behind? Ordinary or not, there is aways going to be a pressure to be remembered. Will it be our footprints in the sand or the pictures we print? Would it be the words we write or followers we get? Would it be the number of likes or the smiles we spread? Would it be the memories we create or the lives we change? Would it be the places we’ve seen or the people we become? Would it be destinations we’ve reached or the odds we’ve evened to get there?
“To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”
― Robert Louis Stevenson
But, do we really have to leave anything behind? Can’t we just be…