Thursday, March 23, 2017

"Mediocrity" by Autumn Ezra

The Costco Essay. Something that has haunted me since the moment my eyes first flew across the words on a pixelated computer screen. How could someone write with such grace and beauty about something so secular and trivial? After a discussion in class about how great the piece was, I removed myself. I was feeling and that meant that I needed to take some time and write alone. The coolness of the floor pressed against my legs through my leggings as I sat in the hallway. This feeling of frustration without any way to let it out was one that I had felt many times before, writer's block. I crossed and uncrossed my legs, fiddled with my earring, tucked my hair behind my ear each time it into my face, struggling to find out what to write. Feeling a warmth enter my cheeks I knew that my emotions, and by that I mean oceans, were about to flow.

The tears pooled in my lower eyelid and I felt one escape and roll down my cheeks, it almost sizzled as it journeyed from the bags under my eyes to the cliff of my jaw. Feelings of inadequacy made my heart swell, like it had just been in a fight and the black and blue marks were beginning to develop. My urge to compare myself to others was something that I could not ignore in that moment. The fact that others being good, just that simple fact, can destroy me. The fact that I let it. That sour taste in my mouth and the kind of catatonic look that develops on my face when someone praises another person. The thoughts in my mind running wild. These reactions are ones that I cannot control. So I remove myself. I find myself sitting outside of class, back pressed against the lockers and brown suede sandals stretched out in front of me, still not understanding why I am mediocre. Just that, nothing special. The worst feeling is this one.

Every time I write, it’s the same thing, a boring, typical piece, with 4 million comma splices and run on sentences, and tons of other errors. When I sit inside of the class I rack my brain questioning why I cannot write with the grace of which they effortlessly jot and type. Further, I wonder why I cannot scribble, in messy handwriting, amazing poetry with drawings in the margins. I sometimes feel like a creative outsider, like I am not creative enough. Why am I hopelessly boring using words like “extra” rather than “superfluous”? Even furthering my frustration, taking forever to even come up with an interesting word, like superfluous. I wish I was able to forget about other people, to throw away my urge to be like them or compare myself to them, but I can’t. Instead, I continue in a failing effort to be great in the eyes of others. But what is better? Being good in your own eyes or in the eyes of others? At this point I’m thinking that it’s better to love yourself. I don’t want to be like them. We come into this thing thinking that the acceptance of others will make us happy, but really it is only us who can control how happy we are. I am not boring, I’m the only one like me in this world. If this is true, why would I deny the world the gift of a uniquely me, me?

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