School crams our heads with knowledge derived from some dead genius. Magazines portray celebrities as all-knowing deities. Self-help books glorify financially successful people. Your Facebook friend posts a picture of herself with Peace Corps in Africa building a house for a small village. It receives 238 likes.
All around us is exceptionalism: images of happy people, of certainty, hope, and a promise that you too can be as extraordinary as they are if you work at it.
If you’re not…then you’re extra ordinary.
Being ordinary is apparently worse than cancer. People literally kill themselves over being ordinary so they survive as an extraordinary story. Because if you’re ordinary… you won’t be remembered. Extraordinariness guarantees that we will at least be remembered beyond the grave.
We deny that all traces of humanity will be annihilated at some point, epitaphs included. Maybe it’ll be when the Earth becomes inhabitable or when the sun goes supernova. Either way, we all come from nothing and return to nothing.
In that sense, we are all extra ordinary. That’s not depressing. That’s great news! It means that happiness is nowhere else but here. It means you don’t have to hope. It means you don’t have to be certain about anything. It means you don’t need to compete to be more extraordinary than anybody else. It means that it’s okay to be extra ordinary.
It means that it’s okay to be you.