// you’re reading...

filed in Daily Life

Is it Okay to Be Ordinary?

Today, my good friend (who is an economics professor at Princeton and recently gave birth to her 3rd child) had her OpEd published in the New York Times. She’s a wonderful person and I am supremely happy for her. But it did make me feel very ordinary. 

Illustration by Laura Odell


6 comments for “Is it Okay to Be Ordinary?”

  1. Karen says:

    You know–I like being ordinary. It is freeing to have finally shaken off that “set the world on fire, otherwise i am nothing or no one,” feeling of my twenties. I don’t want to set the world on fire. I want to do good work, quietly. I want to be helpful and kind and sensible and someone that can be counted on in big and small ways. I am not saying this is mutually exclusive of being less than ordinary and I am also not casting aspersions on those who are more visible than others–but:
    i think it is okay to have a small and good life.

    I like this David Foster Wallace Quote on the subject:
    “True heroism is minutes, hours, weeks, year upon year of the quiet, precise, judicious exercise of probity and care—with no one there to see or cheer. This is the world.”

  2. Petra says:

    Well, look who got published on forbes.com! I thought you were extraordinary before and now even more so! Anyway, good job, Wendy!

    That said, I really do get the sentiment expressed in this post. I feel ordinary compared to my best friend, who now lives in Europe, when I’m here in the Midwest. And I love the David Foster Wallace quote shared by Karen.

    Decades ago I used to say that people don’t live for the moment–rather people live for the moment they can tell other people about the moment. Still seems to be the case, especially when so many (and I’m guilty here too) use social media as a way of combating one’s perceived “ordinariness”. In my more introspective moments, I realize that we are all ordinary. And extraordinary.

    • wendy says:

      Just today with a ballet class friend, I was recounting a crazy whirlwind romance I had 20 years ago with a writer from the New York Times. It was short and definitely not sweet. But I knew even as it was unfolding that the story I would tell was worth every painful moment of it.

Leave a Reply