So, for "image research" (the fancy term I'm going to use for finding pictures to make my blog posts look more interesting) I typed in "average" on Tumblr, and scrolled through the pictures that came up under that hashtag. Amongst all the brutal photos of random people's genitalia (don't type in "average" in Tumblr, or you WILL see a load of posts of men comparing penises. Shiver.), I found SO many text posts from young people, worrying about being average. I saw quotes from celebrities about the "fear of being average". And I'm here to tell you to conquer that fear.
|Yelena Bryksenkova, "Solitaire" (Flow Magazine)|
Today's world has become very focused on doing things FAST. Fast food, fast WiFi, fast cars - and it's all so excessive. People don't describe things anymore, they use hashtags, they cram it all in into 140 characters or less. And OK, that's just how the world's evolving. But along with it, our attitudes towards ourselves are, too. Everyone wants to be the BEST, and quickly. You see teenagers who are celebrities by the age of nineteen, and you're sat here, the same age, not even able to get a decent score on Singstar.
We're constantly comparing ourselves to other people. When I was seventeen, I read an interview with Dakota Fanning in TeenVogue, who is the same age as me. All I could think was "she's seventeen too. And look what she's done." But the fact is, Dakota Fanning, like many of the other people we want to compare ourselves to, is from Hollywood. These people are given things in life that others aren't. When we're young, we all have to make the most of ourselves in whatever environment we've been given. So you're from a small, suburban town in the United Kingdom. You go to school, you do well in your exams, you make some cool friends, maybe do something creative, help some local charities. And that's completely awesome, and you have excelled as a person from a small, British suburb.
We're all in such a rush to be successful. I'm only nineteen years old, and last night I had about fifteen different tabs open - applying for internships, trying to do my blog, trying to write something for my FemSoc, looking at volunteer work, and having all these ideas for starting my own magazine. It was a complete whirlwind, and it wreaked havoc on my broadband speeds.
You don't have to achieve everything all at the same time. Spread it out. Having loads of ideas and plans is so fantastic, and it's important to develop it over a few years, not trying to rush it all at once. It's OK to just be "OK" for now, because if you take the time to be average when you're young, and have everything stored up to slowly release and work on in the next few years, in five years' time you will have achieved so much. It may be the case that you feel your life is so average, but who knows what will happen in a couple of months. Keep doing you, and stop stressing - it'll happen when it happens. It's never too late, even when you're sixty five.
The key to this is to stop trying to cram so many things into one day. Relax. As great as to-do lists are, you don't have to have everything checked off by midnight. I would say a successful day for me is to get one or two things from my to-do list done, and then have done something fun and relaxing, too. Obviously, this isn't always the case with jobs and uni and stuff, or if you have a deadline the next day. But on our days off and in our free time, it is important to have time and space to breathe. You can't force yourself to be productive, especially if you're trying to do something creative. Our minds need a recharge as well as our iPhones.