To Be Ordinary

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

I remember the very moment I realized that I was ordinary. I was nineteen, weighed 119 pounds, wore glasses, had big ears, and a face that only a mother could appreciate and love.


By Al Garcia

I remember the very moment I realized that I was ordinary.  I was nineteen, weighed 119 pounds, wore glasses, had big ears, and a face that only a mother could appreciate and love.

Nineteen years old.  The age when all knowledge is bestowed upon the innocence of youth, and the age when the apron strings are becoming untied, and the moment the world unfurls its mystical allure to entice and embrace the coming of age.

I was unique, yet ordinary.  I was uniquely ordinary in every way.  And as a result, I went about spreading my wings and flying from the nest, unseen and unheard.  And it was scary and lonely, and quite frankly, also a bit exhilarating. 

I envied the boys and girls my age who had the world on a string.  They had the looks, the brains, the legacy of stature and wealth, and they excelled in everything they did, and made everything and everyone they touched a part of their magical and incredible world.  They had everything I didn’t have, and more.  They were the extraordinary – the exceptional, the special, the gifted, and the remarkable.  And they were treated with favor and indulgence, the ordinary like me, were simply tolerated, and our existence of little consequence or significance.  At least, that was the way I felt and the way I saw the confines of my limited world back then. 

It was at this blossoming age of nineteen that I realized my role in the world.  It was simply to exist, and to highlight and accentuate the lives of the extraordinary -- their accomplishments, their exploits, their skills and triumphs, and their words, deeds and acts, that would enrich and enlighten the world.

And then, out of the blue, a remarkable thing happened to me.  After several years of immersing myself, body and soul, in the ways of the world and the people around me, my mind, my imagination and a force deep down inside of me, erupted like a volcano, shattering and splintering the notions, impressions and conceptions of the ordinary boy inside of me. 

I didn’t know it then, but it was called “growing up.”  For over nineteen long and treacherous years, I had existed and simply endured the aches and pains, and the self-depreciating and sometime humiliating drudgery of accepting my place as an ordinary and mediocre proxy of the man I was becoming. 

For some time, I had accepted my place in life, as many of us do.  But, there are moments, conditions and circumstances that change a boy into a man, and a man into more than just an ordinary creature, roaming endlessly and pointlessly through the corridors of time.

There are lessons to be learned in everything we’ve seen and done, said and heard, felt and thought.  It is the character of a man, who finds his way through trials and tribulations, that reveals and exposes the exceptional and remarkable that resides inside each of us.

Whether it was my upbringing by strong and honorable parents, my insatiable desire to reach for the impossible, having lived through the unendurable pain and anguish of war, or simply the blossoming of the naturalness of me, I learned that we are all equal in every way.  What comes easy and natural to some, others, like me, must find and cultivate the essence of what it means to be extraordinary.

In the end, life has taught me, and revealed to me, through the struggles, through the toils and the endeavors, through the tussles and scuffles, and through the elations and exultations that comprise and define our lives, that there is no such thing as to be ordinary. 

We should not demean our creation, for it is a masterpiece of innovation and imagination.  We are all given the time to grow, and the time to reap the harvest of our endeavors.  For many of us, it is the challenges, the failures and the triumphs that brings out the extraordinary in each of us, and that makes us feel complete in every way, despite having felt moments of defeat and of dejection.

Life, I have learned, makes ordinary people make extraordinary choices.  In our own way, in our own time, we each come to this realization. 

To be ordinary becomes a choice, when we let hate doubt and envy control the mind and heart that guides the soul.  We are all ordinary people with extraordinary lives.

Submitted: May 25, 2021

© Copyright 2021 A.Garcia. All rights reserved.

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