“Every individual, by nature, should have his extraordinary points. But nowadays you may look for them with a microscope, they are so worn-down by the regular machine-friction of our average and mechanical days”
So says D.H. Lawrence in The Lost Girl. It resonates with my almost constant dogging fear of falling into ordinariness. Irrational fear, maybe, but if I should wake up one morning with two fully developed arms, I would immediately have a debilitating identity crisis.
I have not always been this way. I used to crave the status quo, longing to disappear amongst my peers, accepted, respected, and unnoticed. I went to great lengths, and achieved the first two, but I never disappeared, and every new venture among unknown companions, was a reminder of still being on the outside.
And statistically speaking, I am becoming less and less average in my peer group; being unmarried with no children, not even a dog, and making less money now than I was just out of college. Add one arm to that and we’re probably looking at the less than .000263 percentile. These days, I don’t even pretend to get out of my dorm room inspired sofa/bed in the morning trying to fit in. Yet, I’ve never been better than now, and I’m starting to wonder why I ever tried in the first place.
I certainly exist happily in the mundaneness of my life... one cup of medium roast coffee with cream in my Starbucks Athens mug each morning; the reliability of blue jeans and brown Roxy flip flops that have walked under my feet for the past seven years; driving the same road, to the same grocery store, where the same employee greets me somewhere in the pasta isle with his incredible smile.
But as my friend Pascal’s T-shirt says, “I tried being normal. It sucked.” I’ve found oddity to be opportunity in disguise. I want to be extraordinary. And admitting that, I feel a shifting and loosening, something like freedom. Perhaps I'll wear my pink flip flops today.