An Un-Extraordinary Life

I had saved this quote on my phone and found it again (it’s by William Martin):
Do not ask you children to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the job of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.

I like this as a manifesto for simple living and being satisfied with a normal life. You don’t need to teach this to your kids (you might not have any) – let’s start with internalizing it ourselves!

If you can learn to enjoy yourself having a normal day, you’ll have a pretty awesome life!It sounds stupid, but we can learn to love simple things like cooking, taking a walk, cuddling up on the couch or reading a book. The only thing that prevents us from enjoying those things is a lack of mindfulness, if we listen to the voices whispering “this is not enough!”
We live in a world where normal isn’t enough. It’s a world of narcissism, fueled by (Social) Media. We idolize narcissists (most celebrities and Influencers are just that). Capitalism wants everybody to be a narcissist, probably, because narcissists are in a continuous state of unrest and unhappiness, longing for the next shiny object to bring them the fulfillment that eludes them (so they’ll buy much more stuff).

I remember a self-proclaimed self help guy talking about how you should “make your life a masterpiece”. And someone commented “What’s the point in being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?” (a quote by John Green, whoever that is).

As with most things, I think both statements can be true, they’re not mutually exclusive.

It’s not a bad idea to go out of your comfort zone sometimes and try different things. “Let’s do it, at least it’ll be a funny story” has led to many great and funny memories that I don’t regret.

I think everybody who does something creative like writing or making music has the dream of creating something unique and awesome that will have an impact. At the same time, I know I will never really be happy with what I create, but that’s a price I’m willing to pay (I don’t really have a choice).

I think wanting to do something extraordinary is fine, as long as you don’t let your creative or professional output define you and stress you out too much.

But if you believe that living an extraordinary life means consuming more, I feel sorry for you. You can’t fill that hole by buying new stuff and chasing the next exotic vacation, hookup or party. It’s never going to be enough, and you’re almost guaranteed to end up broke and depressed.

In any case, here’s what I’m trying to say: Don’t feel bad if you don’t achieve anything remarkable in your life. It’s ok if you’re not beautiful or super successful and rich and won’t ever be all that.

And don’t feel bad and let people shame you if you don’t do anything spectacular for your birthday or new years, if you prefer staying home to travelling, if reading a book makes you happier than socializing.
Consider this: Those people might be (or should be) jealous of you because they don’t have your superpower: They can’t be happy with a normal and un-extraordinary day.

😴 What might help you find calm

Intentional ASMR Picks:

  • Yesss Latte finally uploaded something new (it’s a Q-Tip clinic roleplay, whatever exactly that is – I loved her shirt sounds and cool props)
  • I really enjoyed Ryan’s Apple Store Role Play (with iPhone 12 Pro & more) – he’d make for a good salesman (and I appreciate that he’s not playing an overly bitchy or rude person)
  • Or how about ASMR Darling taking care of while you’re sick (I like those blue bubbly objects especially)
  • And finally this Virtual Haircut by RaffyTaphy – pleasant and relaxing!

Unintentional ASMR Picks: