Once upon a time, I was really good at stuff. Well, I grew up in a tiny town, so it was really easy to be the best at a lot of things, because there wasn’t much competition.
Then I went to a really good college in Massachusetts, and I got a crash course in being average. Even my absolute best would never be more than mediocre there, and I had to get used to it. It wasn’t easy–I came very close to transferring my first year, but I stuck it out because I didn’t want to look like a quitter. I told myself that it wouldn’t matter how average I’d been at this college, my diploma would still have the school’s name on it. I didn’t come anywhere close to getting latin honors, but I did get honors in history for my honors thesis.
Then came graduate school. And the mediocrity continued. My graduate program was no where near as demanding as undergrad had been, and with just a little extra work, I could have easily been a stand-out. But a moderate amount of work got me A-‘s and B+’s, which is all I’d ever gotten in undergrad, so I didn’t see the need to do that little bit of extra work.
Now, I feel like I’m being a mediocre site supervisor. I don’t like my job, and to be completely honest, my site doesn’t exactly excite or thrill me. So it’s easy to not feel like being anything but average.
But I can’t help but remember that once upon a time, I tried hard. I did my best. I did well at things. I impressed people. But then I look at where I am now, and I don’t even know where to start to get back to that.
I think this musing is largely brought on by my discovery that a girl I knew in graduate school is the “exhibits coordinator” for a DC-focused historical institution. Now, I don’t know if it’s an internship, and I’m almost certain that even if she’s getting paid, it’s not full-time (I know she has another job that’s not at all museum-related). But even if it was part-time, it would pretty much be my dream job. DC? Exhibits? Yes please. So yeah, I’m wicked jealous. She and some other students from our grad program are also speaking at a local museum conference next month, and yeah, I’m jealous. She also lives in Columbia Heights. Yeah, I’m really jealous. I know it’s horrible to want what other people have, but is it weird to see another person living what would pretty much be your dream life? *sigh*
Where the hell did I go wrong?