Wednesday, February 06, 2008

diving into mediocrity

i don't know how this is going to work out. lately i have been in a play at Utah State. its russian so that should give you a clue as to the mood of the production, that is if we follow cliche. in the cast there seems to be this quest as to who can deflate who to the level of airlessness. it reminds me of the who's who among american students i was lucky enough to consider myself among(even if i never replied to tell them i wanted to be in the book because i didn't want to be on there mailing list to buy their $100 book containing the names of other students who would be on their mailing list to buy a $100 dollar book of...point made). who's who among the cherry orchard cast is quite an ordeal. you are somebody if you perceive yourself as funny, perceive yourself to be a good actor, or have been in the theater department for more than 8 months. this situation has created a social void (yeah I said void) in my life at utah state. now that would mean something if my social life at utah state had been a resounding success. what's the point? i think i've reached the point of paradigm. that is it's shifting, as i type, each word acts as a kinetic force, pushing whatever mechanism moves my thought tent in a new direction. my aim is mediocrity!! to be unsmart, slightly funny, and moderate to inferior in quality.

bracing myself to a wall i try to enter into a conversation with some fellow cast mates. my mind swirls as that familiar feeling coats my stomach. how can i forget the feeling, after all i joked with people that it was my major at utah state high school. awkwardness, once again i didn't make my thought process explicitly clear, i didn't think out a statement well enough, i was too risque, i offended someone, i was unclever. clever=laughter, add an un to it and it less than or equal to slightly funny. my entire life has been this way, now i use it to my advantage in a lot of situations. in this situation it hadn't worked i was slightly funny. somehow i had decided that being funny was validation to my existence. the truth is that i should have picked something to which i was more adept. my life would have been easier if i could equate my self-worth to the ability to name all the golden girls or how many oreos i can eat in one sitting.

As i attend college i become more aware of competition amongst students. you could say i have become a student of students. my gut reaction has been mostly negative concerning class placement. were so obsessed with how we measure up to the rest. we did this in high school and i was a median student, the fulcrum of academic possibility. what does a valedictorians really succeed at doing, understanding how to work well in the system. i realize now that much of my achievement was thwarted by my desire to be an exceptional student. so exceptional that failure wasn't a possibility. sometimes, i want to emphasize sometimes, didn't because i assumed i would fail (though i was lazy too). because if i got a c or d and i actually worked i was a fool. my desire to be an exceptional student prevented me from being a student.

the problem i see around me is that we are so obsessed with the cream that we forget that we are the main ingredient. cream can only rise if there is something from which it can rise from. without the average, there is no ordinary with a little bit of extraness. if i hadn't heard william hung sing i wouldn't know how fantastic stevie wonder's voice was. had i never seen jessica biel act i would never know how dynamic Helen Mirren could be. eating a mcdonalds cheeseburger makes me understand the true beauty of a red robin burger. the average is the meal and the extraordinary the garnish.

all my life i was told i was special (thanks Mom and dad, and sometimes others), but then the past ten years i can't help but feeling like i've let this label down. special to me meant straight a's, leads in plays, acceptance into honor programs, scholarships based on merit, ACT scores above my current age, dating, and making people laugh. i felt i didn't deserve to be extraordinary (it means ordinary but with a little more....um, ordinariness) because i'm balding, i'm fat, i'm lazy, i'm ugly, and i'm inferior in quality to my peers. before i turn this into a feel sorry for me moment, i feel compelled to say that i felt the need to earn my specialness when it had already been furrowed upon. i wasn't a special person because of who i was and what i had accomplished but because i was in a unique relationship with them. i was special to my mom and dad because they made me, i was special to others because of experiences we had gone through together. i wasn't special, my relationships were. and if i'm unsmart, slightly funny, and moderate to inferior in quality, i don't mind, as long as i get to keep these "special" people in my life.

5 comments:

AllgauerJodler said...

wait... so, you're NOT majoring in Awkwardness anymore?

Trevor said...

I wanted to affirm that "special" status, and tell you that I feel kind of silly for never letting you know, but I've been to your blog a few times (though I'd for gotten about the land of obey. Don't you love janeen brady? Thanks for reminding me)

Of course I remember. its been fascinating to see what you're up to.
thanks for the post.

Teresa said...

I feel "special" to be mentioned in your blog. I must say that your view of "special" concerning yourself may be limited.

Teresa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
gurrbonzo said...

i can name all the golden girls, too, and that's good enough for me.