I’m not someone extraordinary or talented. In fact, a lot more people are better than I am. This is how I’ve been seeing myself since grade school. Others were great achievers, outstanding and top with honors, but I just got passing grades.
Well sometimes, I topped some exams too, like in English, Science and Math. But those were very rare times and my fingers are more than enough to count them.
But don’t take me wrong—I enjoyed being average. I’ve been enjoying being an Average Me. I enjoy being in the background. I’m not one to offer myself for great tasks or leadership. I’d rather be at the back quietly watching everything. Though not exactly a follower, either, I’d rather observe and help.
I’m also not one to observe and openly comment. Being a big mouth is the last thing I imagine myself to be. I’d rather reflect and write about my reflections and opinions. Before blogs came, I used to keep diaries. Today, I thank God so much for blogs.
However, I love to read and study by myself (I hate enrolling in schools and especially getting degrees and titles). I listen to folks who are really wise (and I look for meekness in people who claim to be wise. I like smart people who think they’re just average). I stay away from those who advertise themselves as smart or wise but are really just like your usual college professor.
Though just average, I like improving myself. I do my best at everything—not to prove I’m better—but because I want to see just how average I really am. If I do my best and still don’t hit the topmost goal (which happens a lot), it proves my point—that I’m average.
God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are. [1 Corinthians 1.28]
My dad was also a keen observer of his surroundings. He was a veteran journalist and I guess I got my penchant for being quietly comfy with tacking myself in a corner and merely noting things around me from him. He wasn’t average though—he won lots of writing competitions nationwide, was among the top brass in his high school and college days and was respected by journalist colleagues in his time.
Imagine, even then President Ferdinand Marcos called him up to consult him on vital national matters.
And even my mom was also a smart woman.
So, I don’t know where I got my being average. I suspect it is purely and firsthand God-given, not something transferred via genes. Perhaps, God needed someone average to keep away from the limelight and freely reflect and write about some things objectively.
At first, I thought being average, quiet and inconspicuous were all wrong. Everybody desperately wanted to be put on a pedestal, shouting out loud their right to it, and my strong preference to be to the contrary was starting to make me wonder about myself.
Was there something wrong with me? Was I stupid? I sometimes tried to be like the others, but it felt unnatural, strange and ridiculous. I always went back to my shell and enjoyed my quiet world there.
But then, slowly, they tried to force me out of my shell longer than usual. According to some of them, I wasn’t average. They sometimes even insisted on it. So they asked me to do things for them—even occupy leadership positions—and at times they forced me into doing them when I tried to back down.
But nothing’s changed. I still think I’m average. In fact, most times I even see myself a nobody. Others are much better than I am. And I’m happy. It’s so happy being average. The freedom it affords is not found in the lives of people addicted to the limelight.
Being average, you can do anything you want.