I wanted an early night with my book last night so I watched the Brit Awards on catch-up this morning – I am so rock & roll – and every time someone picked up an award, I felt so happy for them I cried! However, it’s not just watching the Brits that makes me come over all emotional. I am just as likely to shed a few tears over any TV show where there is a trophy at the end. Whether it’s the Oscars, Bake-Off, Masterchef, or the Olympics, if the winner gives an inspirational speech and you can see how much winning means to them, then my eyes are probably going to leak. I don’t know why, but there is something about seeing someone with talent succeed at something they love that gives me all the feels.
I was going to be someone. I was destined for big things. I wanted to change the world! Of course, I had no idea who, or what, or how, and fortunately I was never disillusioned enough to think I was going to become a famous singer, as I can’t hold a tune, but there was a time when I believed the world was my oyster.
Now, as I sit here on my sofa waiting to go back out on the school run, I wonder where they went – those dreams and aspirations – and at which point I gave up on them.
I had so many ambitions for my career over the years, but I would struggle to think of even one now.
I enjoyed a good working life as a PA in the media industry, but it was not a job that I aspired to. I fell into every role I ever had and although I was definitely more suited to some than others, I was always a grafter. Saying that, I did not reach the top of my profession, or anywhere close.
I have always liked to write, but this is something I only had the courage to pursue after my son was born. When I am being particularly hard on myself, I might say that this was something I could only pursue when writing on the internet became possible and a rack of lamb could self-publish. I have had average success as a blogger, reaching the finals of blogging awards a few years ago, but never taking home a trophy. I have failed to reach the dizzying stats of some of my peers, I don’t have tens of thousands of social media followers, and I have never been offered a lucrative book deal.
One of my favourite artists, Madonna, famously once said:
“My drive in life is from this horrible fear of being mediocre”
I’ve certainly never had Madonna’s drive, but there’s also every possibility that I just wasn’t good enough. Maybe, whatever ‘it’ is that very successful people have, I don’t have it. I enjoy working and I like to do a good job, but I also like having a balance and it’s hard to set the world on fire in 2-days a week.
Let’s face it, I am mediocre, but I am still happy.
I may not be travelling the world, selling out arenas, a bestselling author, or ever likely to comfortably afford a Prada handbag, but my life is my own. I can take a walk on a whim, be with my son after school, or spend an afternoon writing this blog post.
Besides, not being a ‘somebody’ does not make me a ‘nobody’. We are not all one or the other. Greatness comes in many shapes and sizes and for me, the measure of a great life is the moments shared with family and friends.
It is lighting the BBQ at the first sign of spring, spending summer in Greece, autumn in Devon, and winter under a blanket on the sofa. It is getting lost in a new book and discovering new films, dancing on chairs, cups of tea in bed, Nutella cheesecake and Sunday roasts. It is holding hands as you walk in the park, and listening to Absolute 80’s in the kitchen on a rainy day. It is hearing your child say I love you and watching the smile on his face when you say I love you too.
It is fighting over finances and wrestling over the remote control, waiting at the school gates and walking home collecting fossils (pebbles) along the way. It is early nights, late nights and afternoon kips on the sofa. It is loud and it is crowded, except for when it is peaceful and calm.
It is watching little people playing cricket on the beach. It is crying with laughter, and crying in frustration. It is rubbish jokes and silly dances and burnt toast, scrambling over swimming pool changing rooms, negotiating bed time, and forever treading on stray pieces of Lego. It is hearing the key turn in the door at the end of a long day. It is getting excited about the new series of Sherlock. It is clearing the air after heated words. It is celebrating the good news and commiserating over the bad. Making plans. Then, when they fall through, making more.
I am living my best life and there’s nothing mediocre about that.