Let's go back in time to my junior year of high school. Specifically, to the first day of politics class and icebreakers. My teacher, let's just call her Tammy, handed everybody in the class a piece of card stock, directed us to fold it in half, and stated that it would be our nameplate for the rest of the semester. To spice things up a bit, Tammy asked us to find an adjective starting with the same letter as our first name that describes who we are. I was just glad it wasn't a fruit or vegetable (I've used Mango Megan and Melon Megan before). Maybe this was an experiment to see the different types of personalities in the classroom or maybe it was just to help Ms. Tammy remember our names faster, who knows?
Anyways, moving forward, I remember around this time of my life I was trying to increase my vocabulary. Surprisingly the first word that came to mind during this activity was "mediocre" (I realized this was also the time when I was heavily influenced by Perks of Being A Wallflower #ifkyk). I went on google to double check the definition of the word:
of moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance : ORDINARY, SO-SO
In an instant I said, "this is so me!"
So what do you think I wrote in big bold letters on my name plate? You guessed it: MEDIOCRE MEGAN
Honestly, it sounded pretty good. I was proud of my adjective because I thought it really described the person I was at the time. I remember presenting it to the class and saying oh so confidently, "Hi, my name is Mediocre Megan" only to be met with a look of confusion from Ms. Tammy. She asked me, "Why mediocre? You know what the means right?" I nodded, shrugged my shoulders, and responded, "I'm just average." 🤷🏽♀️
Little did junior year Megan know, she wasn't mediocre. She wasn't "just average". Yet she settled for it. It was by settling for mediocrity that her perception of herself and the world became tainted. Little did junior year Megan know, God made her for greater things and it was only a matter of time that she would realize that (yes I'm talking about myself in third-person). Little miss Megan, who attended Life Teen (youth ministry) every Sunday night, every youth retreat since freshman year of high school, and was constantly reminded that she was a beloved child of God, nonchalantly accepted the title of being mediocre. And so she was... at least psychologically.
(Okay back to first-person): This went on for years and I didn't realize how much this mentality had affected pretty much everything in my life. From my relationships with others, to my relationship with myself, my career, my spirituality, my interactions with others. In essence, I didn't value myself as much as I should have and that heavily ties into my experiences growing up. I wouldn't say I had a broken household but I don't think I've ever had conversations about values. I wasn't told to think for myself but rather just follow the rules and do good in school. In retrospect, I had nothing to stand for so I fell for anything. I fell for the mediocrity mentality. When I was a junior in high school, I was reallllllllllllly bad at positive self-talk. Ask my friends and they'll tell you how much self-deprecation jokes I said, how many times I've looked down on myself, etc. It wasn't until I've met people who introduced me to the law of attraction and the idea of "speaking things into existence" that I began to recognize that self-depreciation jokes, even if they are just jokes, are unhealthy. The words we speak, toward ourselves and toward others, have power. So it's important to be aware of what we say as much as what we do.
I'm forever grateful for the people I've met so far in my life who've not only taught me valuable lessons about the world, but also taught me valuable lessons about myself. Even if some of these people are no longer in my life anymore, the memories and lessons live on. I carry them in my mental toolbox. Without these experiences, good and bad, I wouldn't have learned what I want vs. what I don't want in a relationship, what I need vs what I don't need, how to be grateful, how to be driven, how to value myself, and how to love God better. I wouldn't have been able to grow into the person I am today without them.
I also have to give a hand to social media (specifically Instagram) for helping me too. Don't get me wrong, I am totally against the over-excessive use of social media and I fully support monthly detoxes from our platforms (especially Instagram) for the sake of your mental heath, BUT my point here is that Instagram does provide a space for community. There are numerous accounts on the platform that focus on shedding light on self-care and mental health. This is a great example of what we should be utilizing social media for; as a means for people to know that they're not alone and they have a community to support them. When I do find myself scrolling on Instagram, it does help a lot to see those posts that remind me to breathe, or to put my phone down, or to remember that I need to set boundaries, or just to tell me that everything is going to be okay. My explore page used to be filled with instagram influencers and all that crazy shiz but now it's filled with scriptures, self-care suggestions, quotes, excerpts from books, and poetry. All these things help me feel seen and heard, which is crazy to think about, but every time I read something and repost, I would want it to help somebody in the same way that it helped me.
Going back to the topic of mediocrity, every time I look in the mirror, I see how far I've come ever since that day. I make it a personal goal of mine to be able to live a life like Jesus so that when people see me, they don't see me, but they see a product of God's love. While I still believe that my self-love is work in progress, I truly value myself more than junior Megan did. If I wanted to become the person that God called me to be, I needed to rid myself of the mediocre mentality. There's a fine line between expecting too much from myself and expecting too little, I needed to find that balance. There's also a great difference between being modest and settling for mediocrity; I needed to recognize that God had graced me with gifts and talents that are to be used for His glory and to help others come to know who He is, and this isn't something to boast about, but rather be grateful for and used as a motivation for ministry work. A mediocre person wouldn't believe that they have such gifts. God didn't call us to be mediocre; He set us apart and called us to be disciples of all nations.
If I could go back in time and change the adjective, I don't think I'd change it. I needed to go through that to be able to share this moment and grow into the person I needed to become for this very moment. Like I said before, words have power; we don't realize it until we really look at ourselves and see how we're affected not only by the way people speak to us, but also how we speak to ourselves. We can either choose to continue down the road of self-depreciation or walk toward the path of self-empowerment. It's never too late to change your perception of yourself and begin again.
Let me reintroduce myself: Hi, my name is Mellow Megan
I'm taking life as it comes and trusting that God is handling the details. I make the effort to be more mindful about everything and refrain from allowing my emotions to take control. I choose mellow not because I'm some sort of hippie lol (no offense against hippies) but because I'm going to try and not stress over every little thing in my life. I'm going with the flow. I'm a river, not a reservoir. Anything that is not in my control is above me. I understand that I do have control over my attitude and how I respond to things, so I will continue to work on that and lift up my worries in prayer. I will continue to pursue God's kingdom and share my gifts with the world with the intercession of the Holy Spirit. I rest in the truth that I am made for greater, I am loved, and I am made worthy of the promises of Christ. That's no mediocre thing.