Just let me be normal.
Just let 2018 be a year where I don’t have to prove my womanness by being extraordinary.
One day when I was about eight years old I can home from school and declared to mum that I wasn’t going to be a doctor, nurse or teacher – oohhh no; I was going to be an ordinary person. My eldest sister was obsessed with London’s Burning, so had her sights set on becoming a firewoman. I was pretty sure my brother would be a carpenter. My other sister was fascinated by martial arts, so I figured her and my cousin would form some kind of Caribbean justice league. They’d take down villains by fusing together a few moves from Bruce Lee, with the transforming ability of Optimus Prime and mutant gene of Wolverine.
Mum was a little confused by my new career choice, but I figured if everyone was trying to become the next firewoman, carpenter or member of a crime fighting league, what would happen to ordinary people? Wouldn’t the world need ordinary people to save from fires, build furniture for and rescue from baddies?
Eventually mum explained it would be hard to make a living from being an ordinary person, so I embarked on a new quest to become a cardiologist. There’s a back story to this career path but after a year I moved onto another career path (the whimsy that is childhood).
Fast forward 25 years and my inner child is screaming again, just let me be ordinary. For the sake of inner peace, stability of mind and love of life let women feel satisfied with just being. We have no more capacity to take on pain and act like we’re ok, we are not superhuman and being extraordinary isn’t our superpower!
If a woman becomes a mother, she can’t ‘JUST’ be any mother; she has to become a #mumpreneur or #momboss or a #muminbusiness. Don’t misinterpret what I’m saying, a woman can choose to be a mother and whatever else she wants to be. My point is we always have to be more than what we currently are; we can never just be.
Womanness in the twenty-first century seems to be characterised by extreme forms of koinophobia (the fear of being ordinary or the fear of living an ordinary life). So if most of my actions are driven by a fear of ending up ordinary, what happens if I don’t become that ‘SOMEBODY’ or if my extraordinariness is short lived? I just feel for the sake of our daughters, we need to readjust the message of what ordinariness actually means.
For whatever reason we’ve grown accustom to the idea that extraordinary means better or denotes something of more value. If we take a step back and look at what ordinary means, in reality it’s unassumingly powerful – it’s stable and consistent, measured yet formidable.
Isaac Newton said, “My powers are ordinary. Only my application brings me success”.
Ordinary looks like an unfailingly friend. It exists where there’s peace of mind and hugs you like a comfort blanket. Ordinary is calculated risk; it’s able to take that leap of faith with a still confidence that whatever the outcome, there might not be success but there will be growth. Ordinariness respects time and will grow patiently into excellence.
“Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well” – John W. Gardner
So in whimsical childlike fashion I declare once more, that when I grow up I want to be an ordinary woman – Just please let me be!