Making average great

Suze Orman is a wise, sage lady. On Oprah last week she said ‘When you make average great, your dreams can become reality’. The top of my head nearly flew off. So simple, so profound, and what I wish I had heard years ago.

I was one of those children at school that didn’t have to try hard, I could whizz through my homework, scrape through doing the bare minimum, but still be a high achiever, near to or top of the class. I was what you would call – gifted. Or a pain in the butt, I was a nightmare to teach. Losing interest in things quickly, I’d learnt it so why did I need to go over and over and over it? I stood out enough as it was, literally head and shoulders above my peers, sometimes as tall as my teachers. I hated being top of the class too in marks and tests, which made me stick out even more. A piece of work set for an hour would take me 10 minutes to do, but I wouldn’t be given anything else. So I started to make it last an hour. Gradually I started to blend in to the ‘normal’ stream, instead of being recognised as being in the top stream.

How I managed to get any qualifications at all is beyond me, I had totally lost interest in school, particularly when both Grandmothers died in close succession and I had to miss an exam to attend my Granny’s funeral. My vile, arsehole of a teacher, Mr Broadbent (the only redeeming thing about him was his paragliding accident which meant we had a substitute for several months) wrote in my final report that would follow me through college and up to establishing a proper CV ‘It was a shame she missed the last exam’. Never mind the head master who also took me for science had given me permission to take the exam with the other half of my year on an alternate day. Prick.

Being as tall as I was also meant I was forever being thought I was older than my actual age. I got fed up with being asked for directions; being told to grow up, when I was still not a teenager; people thought I could cope with a lot more than I actually could, leaving my psyche damaged. I took refuge in reading, charging through books at a great rate of knots, I expanded my mind, but hated reading books that didn’t hold my interest. Still do, and will often abandon a book if I am not enjoying it, life is too short to read a bad book. I am well read, because I flit from subject to subject like a bumble bee, absorbing, well actually inhaling information. The only problem I have, because there is so much rattling around in there, is finding the words to get it out. I am particularly struggling with nouns at the moment. Door stop, drawer, bag – all have escaped me, leaving me to pick up said object or point to it. Hubs saying ‘You are having fun with your worms aren’t you?’

But this simple quote from Suze really rattled me. Hindsight being the perfect science and all, if I had known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have settled for average, for blending in. I would have held my head high, and accepted that I was enough. Just as I was, as bright as I was. I learnt that by reading Eckhart Tolle, Dr Phil, Alain de Botton, Edward de Bono and Dr Wayne Dyer, I am enough, just me. I hope that the children that are in my life through friends and family are encouraged, cheered on and accepted – just as they are. They come into this world complete, old souls in young bodies, more present and aware than adults, and slowly we squash and stifle them, force them to fit into boxes, not even of our choosing half the time, just what we’ve accepted as normal for so long.

Every day I challenge myself, because no-one else will. Every day I try my best, if it wasn’t as good as yesterday, I don’t beat myself up over it, it was the best I could do at the time, tomorrow is another day and you get to do-over. I don’t settle for average any more. Life is precious, don’t we all deserve great? So what if we have to make it great ourselves, the sense of satisfaction of a job well done feels so much better than trying to blend in, pretend to be someone I am not.

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