Lets be honest, being average has never sounded like a good thing. Well, I'm sick of it. Sick of the inspirational quotes and anti-motivational speeches about the idea of being "average." 95% of the world is average, soooooo that leaves few people reading those messages. The adjective always held guilt, a powerful undertone of current disappointment and higher expectations. It always signaled you could have been better, done better, said better. It made us feel inadequate, but adequacy has nothing to do with it. Average is exactly adequate. And while it's reputation is not a "positive one", it doesn't have to be made true.
The negative association began once people transformed from a past ideal of "fitting in" to the contrary action of "setting apart" - doing anything they could to stick out in a crowd. Being different came into fashion. It caught on at full speed. In fact, so many people are striving to be anything BUT average that average in itself is nearing an obsolete term. No one wants to be referred as it, no one wants to admit to it, and no one wants to feel it. People regard themselves as being terrible or terrific, they succeed or they fail an the black and white world becomes stronger.
So back to the point; why am I, and so many other people, afraid of being "average?" hmmm....let's see.
Whether you had pushy parents, bossy teachers, competitive siblings, or your own innate desire to be the best, average was a word to run from. I'm sure it stems from many things, but common characteristics of the 20th and 21st century have affected us all. Unfortunately they are so present that often they go unnoticed.
As children we grow up believing that striving for success is the answer to being praised. It starts with popcorn reading in elementary school - the fastest reader and the slowest are always easy to pin point and the rest? The rest are in between. Through school we continue to get graded, the bad grades and the great grades and the ones in between. Those ones? They are normal. For those who choose to participate in sports, arts, dancing, or music, we get tested here too. Members strive to learn and grow, which is great, but in the process of that fight, they forget why they started in the first place. The ones who do not perform well are more likely to quit and those who excel will foster a reputation and gain attention. What about the rest? They are average. The ones in between are never the last ones out the door, nor are they the first. They are not being punished for their terrible behavior or being rewarded for the outstanding. But, that doesn't, and shouldn't, be viewed as "bad." Not at all. Everyone is average in some way yet we still do our best to be unassociated with its use. Avoiding the skill or activity altogether becomes the preferred course of action. We would rather quit, walk away, or not try at all than risk doing poorly. Better yet, we would rather resist than risk being "average."
It's funny to me, even as I write this, considering my personal struggle with this word and an overall pursuit of perfectionism. Since I can remember I have lived with a sense of urgency and I've always allowed it to determine my state of mind. The combination of a competitive nature, rocky self esteem and fear of uncertainty created my own inner monster. A critic that demanded success and hated the idea of "average," worked hard to avoid it at all costs. Truly, I had a hard time being average at anything. I wanted to do it great or not do it at all. I was exactly the person I am writing to now.
The first week at a new job, experimenting with workout classes I'd never done, painting, writing, biking, essays, grammar, food routines, sleep schedule, family life, social life, planning for the future, room aesthetics, cleanliness, organization, romantic relationships, you get the point. I wanted to excel in all areas because I thought it proved something. I was working for myself in a way, but I would be lying if I said I didn't do it for other people too. I was used to getting attention for the things I did well and I liked it. I'm human. But, I needed to only be "not average" in the things that really struck a cord. The things worth of my time and attention. That could not be everything, no matter how much I wish it could be. Starting in grade school, as mentioned above, things went well for me. I was unknowingly putting myself into a category that years later would define me. Neat, on top of it, overly prepared, leader, perfectionist. The reputation pretty much found me and before I knew it, had obliged to letting it run my world.
I was determined to have a life I was proud of, but it was exhausting and often not worth it. I imagine If I could loosen up in, how free I would be, how much time I could give to the areas I really cared about. How much I could excel there when I stopped trying to excel EVERYWHERE.
Maybe a part of me worried that if I was not this way, if I did not try so hard most of my life, if I let go of the reigns and welcomed the thoughts of balancing out, of "average" that people would not look at me the same way. That everything would change. I thought letting go could send my whole world into chaos. It was what I had always known, even if I didn't volunteer for it. What I failed to realize that while no one wants to be an average person, no one person is average at everything. Simply put, everyone has their thing and no one can be the best all the time. Admitting this was the beginning of freedom.
By taking small steps to notice the tendencies and question their origin, it's easier to break down the reasons behind perfectionism and prove their worth to be less than previously known. The process is pretty fascinating, but dually exhausting. Breaking down failure, average, and winner portrays them as just that - words. Everyone has been all three, no one can be them all, all the time. One person's average is another's mistake and another's success.
I just think we all try too hard to be something that in the end, won't matter at all. No one is really average because no one can do everything you can do and vice versa. You would have to try really really hard to be someone's average. Having connections, being happy, working at something you love, accomplishing large scale dreams - those things matter. The little stuff that's in between, the tasks you spend time thinking about getting done, and the stress we carry from fear of failure - no one remembers those things. Average doesn't have to be scary. Average can be ecstatic. It can be the thing you need to relax and finally let go. Embracing the simplicity of the word can allow you to finally live.
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"5 o'clock somewhere" is more of a guideline now than ever.
As it stands, and my friends and I are finally 21. We're extremely excited to be able to go out to bars and "get lit" as the kids say, but due to the pandemic, all of our plans have been put on hold. We'd rather wait and go when it's safe than risk spreading the infection and hurting our loved ones. So, we've all been quarantining apart, getting on the occasional wine zoom call. This made me wonder if anyone else our age were doing the same thing.
Then, I discovered this survey: We Surveyed Millennials And Gen Z About Their Quarantine Drinking Habits — Cheers. Here are 3 things that I discovered through the survey results.
Keep these drinks in mind next time you're visiting your local farmer's market — you might want to grab some extra mint and limes.
With Summer 2020 in full swing comes the addition of many fresh fruits and vegetables to brighten up your dinner plate, but also your glass! Farmers markets are my personal favorite place to look for produce that is in season to make fun mocktails with.
We created a list of things to do since social distancing may create a dent in our typical, planned traditions.
With the Fourth of July on Saturday, the usual tradition of popping fireworks, grilling out, and being surrounded by family has been modified due to the pandemic. Whether you're a loner or surrounded by family, there will most likely be some changes to your celebrations.
For weeks on social media, people across the country have been complaining that they have been subjected to fireworks going off at all times of the night into the early morning. This has sparked concern and questions about why this is happening and how are people even obtaining the fireworks.
Whether you need to get through the current pandemic or want to spice up your Fourth of July celebrations, these mac and cheese recipes will do just that.
My favorite food is mac and cheese, and it always has been. All it requires is noodles and cheese — it's so simple to make. Although it's my favorite, it can also get kind of mundane because it's such a simple recipe. This, of course, has led to many people all over the world experimenting with the American staple.
With our lives currently being turned upside down due to the pandemic, a lot of people are seeking comfort. These are scary times, and in order to make it day-to-day, we need to have our favorite foods as a standby. These recipes can also be used during your celebration of the Fourth of July.
Because some purchases are just necessary.
Y'all, we're struggling. You don't even have to tell me, I know. What a mess we're all in, right? This year is not going how we planned and the world has turned into one giant struggle bus. I guess you could be super philosophical about everything happening for a reason, but sometimes life is just hard.
There are plenty of ways to bring yourself out of whatever rut you're in. You could go for a run, have a snack, or read a book. Or, if you're really looking for an adrenaline rush, go shopping. This is obviously not going to solve the world's problems with one swift click of the "checkout" button, but hey, it may just give you the little boost you need today.
I Wore A Butt Mask Every Day For A Month, And It's Officially Essential In My Daily Self-Love Routine Now
Thirty days later, my booty's as smooth as a baby's.
- Blissfully unaware that butt-care beyond squats was even something I should be considering in my self-care routine, I tried one of Bawdy Beauty's butt masks for the first time a month ago.
- I've never really given my butt a second though till I took a look at improvements that could be made with the mask — if one of the hydrating, firming, detoxifying, or brightening masks in the kit I received could either smooth out cellulite or tone my skin a bit more, I wasn't going to complain.
- Each Bawdy Beauty sheet mask comes in an individually-packaged sheet, soaked with a serum I massaged into my skin after removing said sheet. The clay butt mask comes in a convenient stick format I simply draw on to my skin and leave to set for about 10 minutes before hopping into the shower.
- I set a goal of committing myself to butt-care every day for one month. Between the regular use of sheet masks, clay masks, and their CBD Butt Balm in between, I didn't have many expectations.
- I thought the whole concept may just be a gimmick, but my butt has never looked so toned in my life, and the cellulite I had is almost completely gone. I wear one every single day when I get the chance.
I'm incredibly skeptical when it comes to marketing ploys and gimmicks in the beauty world. I'll be the first cynic to try out the latest serum on the market every influencer is raving about just to negate every grandiose claim it makes.
One woman said she cried because it changed her life.
Friends, you don't have to be quarantined to use a personal massager, you know? Because, sure, quarantine made for a lot of extra quality time with yourself, but no matter what phase of the reopening process you're in, it's normal and actually healthy to take care of your sexual needs on your own.
If you read primarily LGBTQ fiction, then this list might help to expand your TBR list.
Frequent readers of LGBTQ fiction might feel like they're reading the same book over and over again, with few exceptions.
Most of these books were on my TBR list for months and I didn't realize they were about gay women until I was reading them, hopefully, this list of books can interest you in expanding your reading material and seeking out different stories.
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