Have you ever had an earworm? A random song or melody gets stuck in your head on a continuous loop? Like Dancing Queen by ABBA.

Dancing Queen, young and mean. She was a dancing fiend – oh ohhh, yeah.

Or something like that.

Right now I have the equivalent of an earworm that is bouncing around in my brain much like a game of Pong. That word is Mediocre.

  • average: lacking exceptional quality or ability; “a novel of average merit”; “only a fair performance of the sonata”; “in fair health”; “the caliber of the students has gone from mediocre to above average”; “the performance was middling at best”

It came to me yesterday when I was leaving work, thinking about how there just went another whole day of my life I shall never get back, and I spent it doing…what, exactly? Tasks and duties assigned that no one will ever remember as being done by me. In a few months, after I’m gone, someone might say, “Oh, remember whatshername? She did X.”

You may feel obligated to try to make me feel better and say, They don’t know how lucky they were! and maybe you’d be right in this case, but it’s not just the work situation.

I’ve been mediocre – or average – all my life.

I’m not the first child or the last in my family. I’m not even in the middle. I’m second to last.

I don’t have naturally blonde hair and it’s not brunette. It’s mousy brown.

I’m of average height, build and health. In looks, I’m probably a “6”.

When I was a ballroom dance instructor, my students might have thought I was good. My 60 year-old students. But I wasn’t a natural dancer. I easily memorize complicated footwork but my execution was clinical and uninspiring.

As a kid, I use to think I was a really good artist. Until I went to college and realized that I was “OK”. Not good enough to be able to make a living creating art. I had good enough grades, but I was no 4.0 student.

Inside the little pond, I really could convince myself that I’m good or even excel at something. For example, when I started blogging, I thought I was good because I experienced so few. I’m not. Again, I’m not looking for stroking. I’m just being realistic. Even in relationship to my fertility, I was Mediocre.

Mediocrity is my norm. I’m definitely not a great mom (Color with you? Oh, as soon as ANTM is over.). I’m not a great wife (What’s for supper? I have some coupons from Pizza Hut.). I’m not even a great lover; and I always seem to be the third wheel in friendships, the tag-along.




I can’t shake this earworm in my head.

I am Mediocre.


25 thoughts on “Mediocre”

  1. D – I feel like this sometimes too. Especially around some, colourful people. It’s the 14 year old in me, she can’t help feeling not quite interesting enough.

    But I don’t know. It takes so long to realise that no matter how you measure success, it would never be enough anyway. That critical voice telling you to achieve more never truly goes away. Sometimes I think Western Civilisation spends too much time telling kids they have to “Shine” – the “you can achieve anything”, “be your true self” indulgent Tony Robbins blah. Like it’s not good enough to be a regular person, with a less-than-perfect job, kids with issues and one or two small joys (like ANTM).

  2. I think you wouldn’t be human if you didnt feel like this every now and again – unless you were one of those totally annoying super arrogant egos who think they are the very best at everything when it is plain they are not. See us lot follow you abouty from pillar to post and we wouldnt if you werent pretty damn cool.

  3. All I’ll say to this is that you are one of the first bloggers I click. Even when I have 50+ updates on my google reader because I’m traveling overseas for business.

    I would not use the term mediocre to describe you, not at all.

    However, I understand how you feel – often that word gets lodged between my ears too.


  4. We are all mediocre one way or another, just human nature to feel that way from time to time. Its how I’m feeling at present to be truthful, just gotta shake it off somehow, HUGS

  5. My best friend in high school saw herself as average, as not outstanding. Then in college I guess she realized she was smart and competent and focused, and now she has this amazing career. A lot of it is just how you choose to see yourself, I guess. I’m certainly not doing anything special these days but I still see myself as unique and interesting and etc. I guess you’ll have to talk yourself into a more exciting self-image. 🙂

  6. I felt this way until I went back to school and finished my degree. Then I got another, and am currently working on another. I think you are great, but it is what you think that matters. Look around- figure out what can you do that you can excel at, and then do it.

  7. I’ve never thought you were mediocre. I think you’re funny as hell. Like the others before me said, if you were mediocre, I’d not have followed you all-freaking-over the place. Sorry, but no. So, I dig the feeling and I’m sorry, but you’re not right.

  8. Hell no, you aren’t mediocre. You are a great friend, even if so much of it is forced to be virtual because you live so far away from all these wonderful people whom you care about and who care about you.
    And I agree about the stagnation part. Right up until a nuclear bomb went off in my life in September, I was feeling pretty stagnant.

  9. You’ve moved your blog how many times? And look at all the people who keep following you. You know how much work it takes to keep following someone like that? But for me, it’s worth it. Are you mediocre? I think it depends on which parts of your life you are looking at. We are all mediocre at some things but we are also awesome beyond words at others.

  10. I have heard it called “Salieri Syndrome”. As you may know, Salieri was a contemporary of Mozart. He was good enough to be a full-time composer but not in Mozart’s class.

    The mediocre thing is not true. You are judging yourself against outside stuff that doesn’t matter anyway. You shine much more brightly than you are giving yourself credit for.

  11. Hey, I’m mediocre too. I’ve never excelled at anything. I was the 1st girl-child born after 5 boys, so I was the shit for 2 years, then Sandy came along & she’s prettier than me, smarter than me, taller than me and she’s even too nice to hate her for it.

    I was a pretty good softball player til I blew my knee out a few years ago, I was an “average” student, even got in a few semesters of college, then life hapened and I stopped going.

    I’ve been at the same company for 10 years, and am STILL considered a “clerk”. I am the bosses back-up when she’s not in, I can do all the stuff that she does, I just don’t want the responsibility of it.
    I make decent $, but I don’t manage it well. I’m always behind on tuition, and all the other “fees” that go with a Catholic school education. I let household bills go until I get the NOTICE envelopes before I scramble around to pay them.

    I’m a terrible wife, just ask Joe. My kids like me well enough, but sometimes I’m not the nicest mommy in the world. I play Bejeweled Blitz on facebook while we’re snowed in. I could be outside making snowmen, sledding etc… but I just don’t want to be bothered. Right now, they’re upstairs watching PeeWee’s Playhouse on DVD. I rock huh?

    I think you’re waaayyy funnier than I am, you remember to post regularly and you’ve got your shit together more than I do.

  12. I agree with the stagnation comments. That and I’d throw in “environment.” I’ve lived in some places where I was the f’n bomb – part of the in group, always going places, doing things, center of the community. I’ve lived in other places where I could have fallen off the map and no one would have noticed, people constantly got annoyed by what I had to say, I didn’t seem to fit in. Or at least that’s what my narcissistic self likes to think.. it’s has to be everyone ELSE, right?

    I’ll also beat the dead horse here – I think you’re the shit. I’m constantly wondering why I know all these amazing people through blogs and fb but don’t have a single friend to call up and see a movie or have a coffee with. Truly – it boggles the mind.

  13. I have had this argument with BigD more than once. Our middle son is a wonderful guy. Funny, caring, would do anything for anyone, and all through high school was an average student.

    When BigD would get all over his ass about being “better than average”, it made me crazy. What is wrong with average? That is what most people are. Sure there are the people out there that excel in one thing or ten, but I like to think they aren’t normal (to use another misunderstood term).

    I am betting that you think you are mediocre because nobody has actually come out and told you differently…..or it is just how you see yourself.

    Without knowing even one thing about the family you grew up in….I am guessing that there wasn’t a whole lot of encouragement and outward affection. Just a theory. Sometimes these seeds are planted so long ago, we don’t even remember then being planted, yet they spring to life too often.

    (and BTW, I don’t read or comment on mediocre blogs 🙂

  14. I agree with A…stagnation not mediocre.

    BUT, even if you were mediocre – what’s wrong with that. Aren’t the majority of us in the middle? It isn’t a negative – it means you are normal, in the middle, the “mean” (statistically speaking).

    The fact that you had to deal with infertility alone means you are mediocre. You are statistically the exception – in other words you are EXCEPTIONAL.
    (just in case you needed an example)

  15. Another person who thinks you’re witty…

    I’m thinking that you have the mediocre earworm because you are experiencing some stagnation. You don’t have a job that you love (or even like that much), your prospects for something better have not been spectacular. The kids are good and so is the husband, but Aitch is getting more independent and Doodicus is already a boy who has interests and friends other than his mom. I would say that you’re not mediocre so much as casting about for something else and not yet succeeding in finding it. No, not mediocre…just dissatisfied.

  16. I feel this way about myself a lot too.

    For what it’s worth, I think you’re very witty, and I envy you for that. And smart too. And original. So NOT mediocre. And I’m not *just* saying that.

You can say it here.

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