Once upon a time, just as any other story begins, there lived an average girl who lived in an average town, lived an average life with an average name, average job, average family, and an average group of friends. At 18, I was living the average American dream of the average American teenager. It was the beginning of the summer and I was excited to start my freshman year of college but even more excited to start my new summer job. I was as happy as any other average girl.

However, it turns out that everything you just read was a complete lie.

One counseling trip after another. This was my third one this week, next week starts the two a week sessions then after that they’re going to wean me off of the counseling all together. I’m only 13 years old, why am I going through this? I don’t want anyone to care about me or force me to talk to someone that’s paid to care about my problems. I shouldn’t have problems. I’m too young. I don’t want to have depression. I don’t want to take medicine my whole life. I don’t want a lot of things that I have now, step parents, a new school, a new house, new friends. This is too much change. I just want to be average.

From the time I was born everyone always told me how special I am, how different I am. They always said that I’m going to “do great things” and “change the world”. I don’t see myself doing that. I see myself as average, just trying to get by, but my family and friends see me making a big difference. At 16 years old, I started a youth group in my town for the kids who didn’t have anything better to do and didn’t have any place better to go; so the kids like me. I gathered them all into the basement of a popular church in our town and we played games and watched movies and talked about God. The older people thought I was this excellent leader, saw that I was “changing” these kids, perhaps even making an impact on our community. Then I broke down.

I was always a girl with the perfect amount of friends. I had my best friends, my school friends, my sports friends, the people I just talked to sometimes, and a boyfriend. I was always surrounded by people that cared about me and I cared about them. I was always the listener for these many different types of friends. I had people tell me their problems about everything from people dying, to their dog running away. I heard it all. People always put their trust in me. For years of my life I was always the free therapist that everyone placed their problems onto and expected me not to have problems of my own. I became everyone’s best friend. Then I broke down.

I had this boyfriend and when you’re 15 years old, you think you’re going to spend the rest of your life with this boy. We were high school sweethearts, we were together until the end. People said we had the perfect relationship, we were the couple who was “going to make it”. We never fought, never called each other names, or even had a misunderstanding about anything. Our families loved us together and they would even joke about “when’s the wedding”. After high school, we got a puppy together and thought this was the perfect thing to do to start a little “family” ourselves. We were perfect, things were perfect. Then we broke down.

When you’re told that you’re perfect, it gives you a lot of pressure to live up to that. It’s the beginning of summer and I have nothing to live for. I’m average, or I like to think of myself that way. No one says great things about me anymore. No one talks about how I’m going to “do great things” or that I’m their “best friend” and certainly no one dares to speak about my “perfect” relationship. Since I have nothing better to do and no better place to be, I work 60 hours a week. My “friends” are now just the people I work with and I don’t see anyone else. I barely talk to them because there’s not much to talk about when you’re trapped in a hot pizza shop all day. There’s a lot to think about when you’re trapped there all day. Then, I broke down.

“What do you need?”

“Sanity.”

“I can’t give you that.”

“I know.” I feel guilty that I can say this to him. We’ve been together since high school and I’m still not giving him any insight to how I really feel. I’m not happy or sad. I’m not confused but I don’t understand either. I’m not angry. I’m not hurt. I don’t smile much, but I smile enough. I don’t look for conversation but I end up saying too much. Then I’m quiet when I shouldn’t be. I’m not a leader. I’m not a listener. I’m not the perfect girlfriend. I’m just average.

“I’m breaking down.”

“You’re the strongest person I know.”

College is really hard for me. I’m a nobody. People look over me, through me, and around me. I have less friends than I did at work which was even less than I had in high school. I lost everything. I’m away from my family and the people who’ve always held me so high. I’m not physically away from my boyfriend, but emotionally, we’re miles apart. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, but today, those are just average things of the average college student. I find myself drifting off thinking about the way things were when I was going to “make a difference”. I try to picture myself helping people again, being a listener, being a friend. I became this stranger to everyone including myself. I blend in with the thousands of other students here. I’m too average.

Average : adjective : typical, common, or ordinary