On being average.

Last night, Adam and I were dissecting this quiz we took about our relationship. You know, one of those "There are no wrong answers, so don't worry! We aren't judging you!" things which to me means "The right answer is just creatively hidden within our scoring chart so goooood luck."

I don't know if you're aware but let me just say that I.do.not.fail.quizzes (except horrible Mr. Vincent's trigonometry in eleventh grade...and no, I am SO NOT OVER IT...and further, I DO NOT NEED IT IN MY EVERYDAY LIFE SO THERE!).


Anyway, we're looking over our results and right there on the first page is a little summary of us as a couple. And out of four possibilities, we're given this perfectly acceptable label--which isn't bad per se--but in my crazy, perfectionist brain just didn't seem as good as another label and just seemed rather, well, ordinary on paper.

And I'm pointing it out to Adam like See?! Are you seeing this? Can you believe that WE ARE NOT COMPLETELY PERFECT IN EVERY WAY?! IS THIS BECAUSE YOU JUST DISCOVERED I SQUEEZE MY TOOTHPASTE FROM THE MIDDLE?!?!?!?!

Adam, being the tooootally emotional basketcase that he is these days (oh wait...) takes a couple minutes, reads it over and says ever-so-calmly, "Sara, this isn't saying anything bad. And for that matter, everything it says we need to work on, well, we actually DO need to work on. And that's okay."

And he was right.

But for some reason
, it is hardwired in my brain to fight against "average". And instead, demand "perfection."

Average job? I should work harder. Average day? What a waste. Average relationship? We can do better.

Average is failing and I.do.not.fail.

Except that I do fail. Because I am human.

And I am average. In so many ways. (and in some ways, far less than average as anyone who has seen me on the basketball court can attest)

And it's this peculiar tug-of-war--this desire to be better than average. In every way. Because my pride won't let me be anything less. Because complacency is a death sentence. Because I need to believe that I am more than that.

And yet...in so many ways, the desire to be Prototypical Average. Because it looks so appealing sometimes--the house. The family. The dog. The career. The minivan full of soccer balls and Squeeze-Its. And I think to myself yeah...I want that.

It's a conundrum that leaves me restless when I'm stable and swirling when I'm not.

It's a fear that I'll always be living in discontent.

It's a constant searching, a constant second-guessing, a constant need to feel affirmed in exactly who I am right then.

Even when I'm not exactly sure myself.


Rebecca said...

We decided to purchase one of those do-hickeys that goes on the end of your toothpaste and pushes up as more toothpaste is squirted out. I'm a middle squeezer. Get.over.it.

Brian S said...

Saying your average means you're comparing yourself with another person's (group's, family's, etc..) life which means you're trying to live up to someone else's expectations, when in reality, the only expectations you should be striving for is your own. Just a thought...

-Your philosophical brother

ps. I saw an infomercial about a device that sqeezes your toothpaste for you. That just may save you and Adam's relationship...hahahaha..jk

lauren said...

I understand what you mean. Wow, do I understand.

Oh, and in 5th grade I "failed" a sight exam and burst into tears just at the sound of the word.

Kelsie said...

I don't know anyone that can put their thoughts into written words as well as you can.

I love your blog! and miss you!!

Sara said...

Rebecca--AMEN! (and helloooooo registry! haha)

Brian--stop being so philosophical already. :)

Lauren--hilarious! THIS IS WHY WE'RE FRIENDS!!! (p.s. Date soon???)

Kelsie--I miss YOU! Thanks for reading my rants. :)