Does Middle Equal Mediocre?
I’ve spent most of my adult life believing that the middle ground is usually the best place to be. Taking the middle ground is usually the safest and most effective path to reach your goals. Any extremes, one way or the other, usually led to trouble. All things in moderation has been my go-to phrase on more than one occasion. To really get what you want, think things through, develop a plan, and execute your plan. Play it safe, be patient, only take calculated risks and things will work out for the best. But has this mentality only led to acceptance of mediocrity and being happy by playing everything safe?
Truly Great vs Just Okay
I’ve often dreamed of being truly great at something. I’ve always been simply “okay” at many things, instead of really amazing at one thing. I truly admire those individuals that can create amazing works of art with a few brushstrokes. Those who always know what colors seem to look best together. Those that can create beautiful pieces of jewelry or have stunning ideas for unique combinations of materials have always ignited quite a jealous streak in me. I’ve never had exactly what it takes to be really amazing at something and I never can quite figure out why. Sure, I’ve developed the “ability” to create, but never really fostered that true creative side. I have never been brave enough to just jump into anything with two feet and see what happens.
I wonder if it is my idea of middle ground is the best ground that is holding me back from really developing something great…?
I have canvases of artwork that I tried to paint tucked away.
I have 15 thousand knit projects carefully stowed in the basement.
I sewed a pair of pajama pants, that I wear to this very day but nothing special.
I have various strands of jewelry that I spent hours designing and making, half finished because I never felt anything turned out quite good enough.
I can sew, crochet, knit, photograph, paint, write, play piano, draw, design, and do any number of other creative pursuits. But not one of these have I turned out to be truly talented at. Not one of these have brought me any financial freedom or led to a truly unique or inspired idea or product.
Perhaps it is a lifestyle thing?
Artsy clothes, hairstyles, and accessories have always interested me. I eye edgy looks with the voice in my head saying, no way- you are too old to pull that off…My closet is filled with solid, bland, and basic clothes. Everything safely matches each of my three basic black flats. I’m not saying I would like to join in on the latest fashion craze, rather just shake things up a bit- try an asymetrical bob with a streak of purple, maybe some funky new glasses, or a top I’d never pick for myself.
So What is My Whole Point?
Now I have three tiny people looking up to me. I want them reach for the stars. I want them to be comfortable with everything they could be and to be confident in all that they are. Am I holding them back too much? Am I stifling their creativity in an attempt to “normalize” them in a world that is much more accepting of differences than ever in our history? How do you foster these ideals while also grounding them within the reality of bills, deadlines, and opposition? If I can’t be “brave” enough to foster my own creative side, how can I expect my children to do the same?
So perhaps I will continue my creative pursuits. Let my children see me be “different”, go shopping, find new glasses, color my hair a crazy shade, embrace my inner artist. I don’t have the luxury to really shoot for the moon at my age and with my responsibilities. But perhaps like the old saying goes I can shoot for the moon and even if I miss, I can land among the stars. 😉