Director’s note: In this summer series, an original thinkpeace girl, Remy, writes about the ups and downs, ins and outs of being an “average” girl. This is her strength, her bond with others, her realness. Currently a rising junior at Sarah Lawrence College studying International Politics, Human Rights, and Ethnic Studies, she is interning this summer for an NYC councilwoman. While living the college-girl life in Manhattan, she’s discovering more about herself, gluten-free cooking, the Upper East Side, Brooklyn, food truck dining, and how to survive sweltering humidity and overcrowded subways. Read about her “average girl” life on Mondays. It’s girl-to-girl talk. It’s a thinkpeace girl finding her way from suburbia to the big city within the global girl community. It’s about self-discovery and acknowledging that who we are right here, right now, matters. And who we become could be something pretty magnificent. After all, the ‘journey is the destination’! Imagine.
Hello, internet. It’s me, an average girl!
What can I say, I am totally, completely, average.
I grew up in suburban America. I have an average family: mom, dad, two siblings. I graduated high school; I go to college… Pretty average, right?
I never really thought about this until I was applying for summer internships (which I personally feel is expected of college students nowadays) and realized just how average I was.
I was perfecting my resume and writing so many cover letters, all bragging about how I am special and “different” from any other millennial applying for the same internship when I realized how crazy that was! Why am I special? Because I actually do things that I am passionate about? Because I was a teen advisor for a UN campaign when I was 14 years old? Because I like attending and working for my mom’s nonprofit because it’s my mom and that’s where all of my friends are??
To be completely honest, I am not that special. There are literally thousands of people just like me. And that’s ok. I think that with social media and just this day and age, there is so much pressure to ‘be something.’ I know that if I were to talk to someone and say. “yeah, I’m average” they would respond with something to try to make me sound and feel special. Something like, “but you are interning in New York City!” Hello… there are thousands of interns in this city right now. “You go to a school with no majors?!” Yes, I do. What does that have to do with me, though?? I don’t have a “quirky” or “artsy” or “I’m not a hipster, hipster” aesthetic like everyone I go to school with… I am not the world’s best guitar player. I’m a little behind in “meme culture” and don’t know my best selfie angle. I am just me. At the end of the day, I have my own private little things that make me special, like the fact that I can always make myself laugh or the fact that I may or may not have tried fitting a square inside a circle.
I am never going to be a “superstar” or one of those girls that everybody looks to in awe. And to be honest, I am actually glad that I am just an average girl. I don’t always want to be surrounded by geniuses or rock stars. Give me the quiet girls! Give me the messy girls! Give me the girls who are really good at being lazy! Give me the girls who don’t follow trends! Give me the girls who do! Give me girls who like to code! Give me girls who like to paint! Give me girls that like to binge watch Netflix!
You see, I think there is immense power in being average or normal or whatever word you want to use. I am just me, and at the end of the day, that is all I can be. I know my strengths; I know my weaknesses. I set my own expectations for myself. And no, that does not make me special! It has taken me almost 20 years to get to this point (so. old.), and it’s not like I don’t feel subpar when I see the Instagram models’ most recent pics, but I have to be ok with myself, because if I am always looking for what makes me special, I will probably never be happy. And life is too short for that. There are more than 7 billion people in this world. There are going to be people who are smarter, prettier, and more talented than I, and that’s ok! The biggest lesson I have learned this past year is to stop comparing myself to others. I compare myself to me, and that is the best way for me to grow. I am not going to actually be more special if I spend all of my time trying to outdo somebody else. The best way that I can learn and grow is to keep checking in with myself. How can I be healthier than I was a couple of months ago? How can I write a better paper than the last one? How can I make my selfie game stronger than the last one I took? All any of us can do is just be ourselves and live comfortably with that. I think life should be about growing and changing, taking things one step at a time, and trying to live as authentically as possible.
My goal with this blog series is to show other people that it is a-ok to be average. I also want to write it so when I am going through a spell of self-doubt, I can read something that reminds me that everything is going to be ok! This summer has been crazy for me so far. I have learned a lot, and it isn’t even halfway over yet! I hope to share some of what I have learned with anybody who is willing to listen because I wish I had known how to handle New York City morning rush hour before I did it for the first time! Fingers crossed I actually keep this up. Talk to you soon!