As a child I thought myself special, the way children do. I grew up in a town of mediocrity, so being only a little above mediocre I naturally assumed I was somehow gifted. Lately thought, I’ve been reflecting back on a comment by one John Wright, of Tyler Texas. He said, “When I left Arp I thought I was a genius.” Now, if you know Arp, it’s a tiny place, so anyone with 3 degrees of gumption would reasonably think themselves a cut above.
Over the years I’ve done pretty well. I breezed through school, I succeeded in getting an AFS scholarship, then was extremely lucky to have someone arrange sponsorship for me. I then did sufficiently well at uni to get a scholarship to a decent Aussie varsity. Now I have a square job and a fabulous family, and we’re paying off our own home. Just middle of the road stuff, right?
So nothing I have done is exceptional. In most ways I’m just kind of ordinary. Just a tad over mediocre in every way even to this very day, and sometime I’ve worried that I missed a trick. And I ask myself why I’ve never been hugely successful in my career? Why have I never been hugely successful at anything? I do plenty of “making it just fine’, but have never done anything spectacular.
And then today I find myself talking to a friend about his daughter. It’s not my place to talk about her challenges, but let’s just say that she’s a sick little girl. When I was talking to him, I wanted to begin to talk about my own “internal rearrangement” and how lucky I was not to have gotten sick when I was a child (a medical professional Uncle tells me many children with misaligned internal organs can have a pretty hard time). Fortunately I my New Year’s resolution a couple of years back was “It’s not all about you Che”, so I bit my tongue.
Reflecting on the conversation this evening, I realised that my life has been special. Special because despite all the many, many impediments placed before me I have always been above the curve of “OK”. And what struck me is that the gift I have been given is normality. Of all the awful things that could have befallen me? None have. My life has merely being a little above mediocre, and well inside the range of the everyday. But, considering the many pitfalls life has presented me, and which I have avoided, normality has been a great and special gift.
And you know? That is a great comfort to me.