The Momentum of Mediocrity — My Race Against Life
I’m going to be honest for a second. (I mean, when am I not?)
And there’s not even any real reason for me to be tired.
It’s like I try so hard to be all these things — independent career type person, decent wife, acceptable cook, counselor to friends and family, responsible dog owner, assistant property manager/marketing person, knowledgeable DIY project-doer, good speller (pretending I didn’t have to look up the word “knowledgeable”), writer, extrovert, smiley, computer-savvy, photographer, compassionate, professional, on top of things — all these things that I know I can be, but not necessarily without practice. And almost definitely not all at once. And it’s sucking the life right out of me.
And I don’t even have kids.
But maybe that IS life, you know? Feeling crazy all the time. Fortunately, I’d like to think that if I’m aware of my craziness, I can’t possibly be insane.
I can’t describe what has been making me crazy. It’s been happening for over a year now. I keep waiting for it to go away, or for it to magically resolve itself, or for a sign to drop down from the heavens, grab me by the shoulders with iron fists, and literally steer me in the direction I’m supposed to go.
Just like in the movies.
There’s a silly movie from 1994 called “Don Juan DeMarco” with a young Johnny Depp who thinks he’s the actual Don Juan of yore — celebrated lover of women and passionate pursuer of life.
Until recently, I hadn’t seen it in years. But Justin was bored one night without our cable, and I had taken a moments pause from my manic pursuance of one project and then another, so we streamed it from Netflix. We made it a good hour into the movie before I ran off to do something else. This is not uncommon.
Marlon Brando plays Depp’s psychiatrist, who initially is cockily confident that he can “cure” young “Don Juan’s” delusional illness in the 10 days before his retirement. Instead, he finds himself getting swept up in Don’s tale of adventure, love, and sex. Then one night, in bed, Brando confesses to his wife his fear of getting swept up in the “momentum of mediocrity.”
And that, I think, is one of my greatest fears — getting so caught up with life’s little distractions, that I forget to enjoy it. Or worse, worrying so much about how to enjoy it, or how I’m not enjoying it, that I let it pass. Brief. Unnoticed.
So, how do I do this?
When I head to my job tomorrow and have to call people because their rent is 21 days overdue or a contractor decided that painting a room with primer only and slopping it over the switch plate covers is acceptable (puh-lease, like I don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to painting a room); when I realize my one and only work skirt isn’t clean because I blogged instead of doing laundry tonight; when I remember it’s Friday and I still haven’t picked my home project to complete over the weekend; when I take a breath and realize the photographer I assisted at the wedding shoot last Saturday still hasn’t given me any feedback about my photos; when my friend Alaina calls and tells me her baby is on its way and our lives as we know them are about to change forever; how do I do this?
How do I live in this moment without continuously counting down until the next?
I firmly believe that there is a disconnected wire somewhere inside this screwball brain of mine that makes me think these daily things — these things that make up life — are just the build-up to what I’m really supposed to be doing.
That, at nearly 29-years-old, my life hasn’t even started yet.
Well, I’m here to tell myself that’s about the most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard.
That doesn’t necessarily mean I should ignore the feeling that I could be doing something more. But it does mean that I shouldn’t be wishing for days to pass by more quickly so I can get to the good stuff.
The good stuff is turtle cheesecake in the break room at lunch.
Wet puppy noses.
Dinner on the deck.
Why would I want those things to pass by more quickly?
Such is the bane of the “right-brained curse”, as one of my favorite bloggers, Brittany from Blunt Delivery would put it.
I hate my restlessness. And I love it.
And, until I figure out how to beat the momentum of mediocrity, I’m afraid I will never be able to rest.
That’s just kind of… sad.