When I was 16, I thought I was an alien. It was the only logical solution since I didn’t feel like I fit into the human race. I had this idea in my head that I would cease to exist when I turned 18 because I couldn’t see life past that point. What I have discovered is that there is nothing alien or extraordinary about that thought. Once I became 18 and realize I was going to keep living, I assumed that I was meant for something more than the ordinary. Although I didn’t know what extraordinary event was meant from my life, I did know that I wanted to become a mother. I waited 11 more years before fulfilling that dream, but still always thinking there was something more for the extraordinary part.
One of my biggest personality flaws is being consumed with curiosity about my past relationships. I love to know what everyone has been doing with their life even if I know I’m not meant to participate in it. I joined Facebook on my hunt to find old schoolmates and came across my first boyfriend. (Doesn’t everyone do that?) But what I found was something I never expected, he had done something extraordinary with his life. Although I wished him well all these years, I didn’t think that would happen. He didn’t seem to have that “special something” when we knew each other. This discovery actually shook me more than I thought it would. His Wikipedia page and several hits on Google are something I can’t get out of my head. (Another one of my character flaws—obsessive compulsive) It has made me look in the mirror longer and question what happened to my idea of being extraordinary? When did I accept that I was ordinary? It hit me like a ton of bricks. Don’t get me wrong, I have these moments at monumental birthdays, New Year’s Day, or when some person from a small town wins a huge lottery, but this has rocked me more than my usual insecurities.
I have evaluated my ordinary. My rational thinking side of the brain knows that I am lucky to have all that I do. I have friends who have not found their soul mate, friends who had a difficult time conceiving children, and friends who have lost their homes due to finances. I know my ordinary life is something to be cherished and I do. I do not take any of these things for granted. But then there is that nagging irrational voice that always makes its way in and asks, “Why can’t there be more?”
I have found is that I need to ask “What does an eighteen year old think is extraordinary?” and how does a thirty-four year old respond to it? Extraordinary to a thirty-four year old is being interrupted from a restful sleep every morning at 6:00am by a tiny voice asking “Is it morning time?” and being able to complete a day of unlimited tasks knowing that they will repeat the next day. It is also extraordinary to be able to carry conversations with friends about poop and pulling out a breast in a public place to nurse without a hint of embarrassment. These are things that eighteen year old would have never thought she would be doing. But here she is, thirty-four years old and completing these tasks, among hundreds of others, and calling them ordinary.