Howdy! I hope everyone is faring well in the fourth (?) month of quarantine. I felt compelled to go into more detail about something I mentioned in my last post, the concept of feeling comfortable being completely average at something.
While some people have had more time on their hands the last few months, I’ve seen some amazing things. People spending more time writing, drawing, sewing, singing, all of the arts and crafts! I think it’s amazing how talented some people truly are. I feel like I’ve seen so many perfected arts lately that some days I almost accept that everyone else is amazing and gifted but me. Candidly, it makes me feel bad about the content I want to create. Now please let me say this, there is absolutely nothing wrong with sharing the talents you’re amazing at! Take those high quality photos, blow up Instagram and Twitter, make a video about it on YouTube, start your own shop on Etsy! Everyone should be able to express what they’re great at. With the utmost sincerity I say kudos to the shining talents of the world, your crafts brighten the lives of many, please continue to do what you do!
Getting back to the topic, I went to Furman University and started out as a vocal performance major. I was fairly ‘talented’ in the small town I’m from, getting leads in musicals and getting a great deal of praise from the church community I was brought up in. It seemed only natural when I graduated high school that music would be my next step in life and lead me to a successful career. I made it precisely one year and two days into my vocal performance major before promptly marching to the dean’s office right after music theory and switching to English. I felt like a failure, but I knew I would never be as good as my peers in the program, I didn’t feel like a good fit. Now, was I bad at singing? No. Do I still enjoy singing now? Absolutely! Will I ever launch an extremely successful musical career? Not a chance, and that’s okay. I don’t have to be an opera singer to feel good about singing. YOUR HOBBIES DON’T HAVE TO EQUATE TO A FULL TIME PROFESSION, SIDE HUSTLE, OR FAME FOR YOU TO LIKE THEM AND BE GOOD AT THEM.
It has taken me years to come to terms with this concept, and it’s something I still have to tell myself daily. We tell children and students that they’re special and gifted because they’re above average and we train them to want to be the absolute best. We have TV shows and competitions worldwide promoting being a winner in your field, all of this drama to prove you’re ‘it’. In a world where the population of over 7 billion, I promise it’s okay to be average at something and still feel passionately about it. Take some time to paint even if your art isn’t the Mona Lisa. Sing along to that song even if you don’t sound like Ariana Grande. Dance around the house, try to pick up sewing, bake something new for dessert, and work on that new crafty storage solution for your home! It’s okay to be imperfect and it’s okay to continue your craft knowing you probably won’t ever do it perfectly. So what if your Instagram pic of your homemade fire pit doesn’t look professionally done? It’s not professionally done, it still looks fine, and you had a blast doing it! Be proud of what you accomplish and more importantly, take joy in where your passions lie. The same rules also apply to us average folk about sharing your craft. You can share what you do if you’re proud of it! There isn’t a bouncer on social media that’s going to come take your content away because it’s not the number one thing out there. If sharing what you create makes you happy, don’t wait for perfection, share it when it feels right.
You are amazing the way you are, and there’s beauty in being average. Doing something imperfectly still gets you a lot further than if you never did it at all. Don’t be afraid to do what you love and love what you do. I ran cross country in middle and high school and I never made the varsity team. I still went out every day and improved to meet personal goals and I enjoyed the sport. I love writing so I wrote today. It’s not perfect, but it makes me happy. I encourage all of you to do something today simply because it makes you happy.
Stay safe until next time!