Are You Ordinary?

Be honest, was your first thought ‘no I’m not, bloody cheek!’ Was your second ‘oh crap what if I am ordinary’ followed by a feeling of ‘I need to do something extraordinary….now’. That would certainly be my normal thought process but this morning I questioned why. What’s wrong with having no special or distinctive features (dictionary definition of ordinary in case you were wondering), what’s wrong with being ordinary?

Be honest, was your first thought ‘no I’m not, bloody cheek!’ Was your second ‘oh crap what if I am ordinary’ followed by a feeling of ‘I need to do something extraordinary….now’. That would certainly be my normal thought process but this morning I questioned why. What’s wrong with having no special or distinctive features (dictionary definition of ordinary in case you were wondering), what’s wrong with being ordinary?

bestWe are constantly being told to strive for more, to be the very best that we can be and that’s all very well, there’s nothing wrong with ambition, but what if the heights we are being pushed towards just give us vertigo? In the name of ‘motivation’ we are told to ignore fear, exhaustion, problems and just reach for the stars. We are told that we cannot be successful without confidence, strength, determination and a relentlessly positive attitude. We are constantly having great men and women held up before us as bastions of achievement: the rich, the famous, the beautiful, the athletic, the intellectual, the spiritual. We are presented with so many images of people that we should aspire to that it’s easy to lose our own face when we look in the mirror…..

hayleyMany of these people that we so admire, and often feel so inferior to, have their place in the halls of fame for no other reason than genetics; they are born with a symmetrical face, a beautiful body, intelligence, athletic ability etc. Yet we often feel that we can’t live the life of our dreams if we don’t somehow attain these attributes; what do we think we can do? Go back and change our parents? Of course not, that’s impossible, so we do what we can: we have plastic surgery, we diet, we study, we work out, we push and push and push until we are satisfied……are we ever satisfied?

Invariably no because there will always be someone cleverer, more attractive, more successful, more talented…or is that just what we tell ourselves? We look at those people we aspire to, we want to swap our lives for theirs but what do we really know about them? All we ever really see is a media image, a reflection of their success. How many ‘stars’ have died young from drug overdoses, how many have broken marriages, how many have become a recluse in an attempt to escape their world? How many are accused of assault or are victims of the same? They struggle with their weight, their mental health, alcoholism, drug addiction and often lose those battles over and over again.

Their lives are ‘ordinary’ inasmuch as they suffer from exactly the same challenges that everyone else faces; they are merely extraordinary because they face them under the glare of the spotlight. Yes they have success, fame and money but none of those things will detract from the pain of grief or betrayal; they will suffer no more and no less than someone who has nothing.

To say that we are ‘ordinary’ is to say that we have nothing special that defines us but each of us is unique; there is no-one else absolutely identical to us on the face of this planet. We are one in 7.5 billion. Isn’t that extraordinary? If you found a flower that was a one-off, never seen before or since, wouldn’t you cherish it and protect it from harm? Wouldn’t you shower it with everything it could possibly need to keep it alive and thriving? Wouldn’t you hold it up for the world to see so that you could share its unique beauty, the traits that no other flower shared?

You, exactly as you are, at this very moment, are far from ordinary. If you want to change something about yourself then do it but not because you want to be less ‘ordinary’, you will never be that….

Lisa x

Am I Missing Something????

Do you know who this is? You’re going to say “well duh! of course I do Lisa it’s Kylie Jenner” aren’t you? I’m guessing you might even have a tiny eye roll when you think I’m not looking? Seriously, how do I not know about these people?? Admittedly I don’t spend a huge amount of time on social media but still! I’d never even heard of her until this morning but apparently she ‘earns’ $1 Million per sponsored post on Instagram which tops even Beyonce (who I have actually heard of) and has 110 million followers…….no scrap that, I’ve just checked Instagram and it’s now 111 million!

Do you know who this is? You’re going to say “well duh! of course I do Lisa it’s Kylie Jenner” aren’t you? I’m guessing you might even have a tiny eye roll when you think I’m not looking? Seriously, how do I not know about these people?? Admittedly I don’t spend a huge amount of time on social media but still! I’d never even heard of her until this morning but apparently she ‘earns’ $1 Million per sponsored post on Instagram which tops even Beyonce (who I have actually heard of) and has 110 million followers…….no scrap that, I’ve just checked Instagram and it’s now 111 million!

 I’ve got to be honest here and say that I don’t really get Instagram. I mean, I like photos as much as the next person but, let’s face it, how much interest do we really take when someone shares their holiday snaps with us? Sure, if it’s a place we’ve never visited, the first half dozen can be pretty interesting but would we want to sit there and look at hundreds or even thousands? How is Instagram any different? Can someone please enlighten me?

Of course I get the concept of ‘likes’ (or loves as, in this case, it’s little hearts that indicate your approval of someone’s photos), everyone appreciates admiration for their efforts but what do the 111 million people who have followed Kylie hope to get from it? Do they think that she will notice them and they’ll be catapulted into instant fame and untold wealth if she ‘loves’ one of their photos? Is it just a fascination with beauty and fame?

I can’t help but admire the woman as, at age 20, she is on route to being a self-made billionaire before she reaches 25. She is evidently a master media manipulator and that’s not to be sniffed at but she is described as ‘a make-up connoisseur’ (an expert judge in matters of taste) and I really can’t help wondering how this has become a profession that commands $1 million per post???

Ok never mind, you can forget all that, I’ve just read that she’s somehow related to the Kardashians, that explains everything. Now how did they become famous again???????

In the name of research I’ve decided to follow her for 24 hours. If I don’t post anything tomorrow you’ll know it’s because I am now best friends with a social media superstar and I’m jetting of to LA. I’m guessing we’ll be catching up again tomorrow ;O)

Lisa x

 

 

The Price of Success

It was just 2 years ago that you finally finished your first novel, you know the one that left blood, sweat and tears on your keyboard, the one that consumed your every waking moment and took you away from your friends and family as you poured your heart and soul into it. Do you remember how it just took off? The money that came rolling in afterwards? The second novel that just seemed to flow from your fingertips? The adulation, the reviews, the interviews and now they’re making a film from your book; does life really get any better than this?

It was just 2 years ago that you finally finished your first novel, you know the one that left blood, sweat and tears on your keyboard, the one that consumed your every waking moment and took you away from your friends and family as you poured your heart and soul into it. Do you remember how it just took off? The money that came rolling in afterwards? The second novel that just seemed to flow from your fingertips? The adulation, the reviews, the interviews and now they’re making a film from your book; does life really get any better than this?

jennifer-aniston-toronto-film-festival-cake-movieDid you ever imagine that JK Rowling would take the time to send you a message of congratulations? And what about meeting Christian Bale; to think he’s considering playing your book’s lead male character! How did you even manage to form a coherent sentence when you talked with Jennifer Aniston about taking the female lead? Honestly, these last two years have just been a complete whirlwind and now you’ve got everything you’ve ever dreamed of……

Of course, you don’t really see some of your friends now, not after that fiasco of a party! It still makes you angry just thinking about it, doesn’t it? You knew them when you had nothing and now you’ve made it all they can do is make snide comments about how you’ve ‘got a bit above yourself mate’. All you were trying to do was give them a good time and show them round your new place in the country, what’s wrong with that? Yes they’re used to a pint down the local but when you’re celebrating you do it with champagne, everyone knows that don’t they?

What was it Gary said?

‘Why the f**k do you need 8 bedrooms mate? Planning on taking in a few lodgers are we? Well, you can put my name down, I could get used to living like a toff!’

MansionYou can still hear them laughing can’t you? Mocking everything that you’ve worked so hard for. No, of course you don’t need 8 bedrooms, there’s only you, Maureen and the kids but why shouldn’t you have a nice house? Why are they so bloody jealous? It was the same with the car; how many times had you and Steve talked about the day when you’d win the lottery and turn up at the pub in an Aston Martin; shaken not stirred Miss MoneyPenny! Jim behind the bar didn’t think it was funny but you and Steve just cracked up……what did he say when you showed him the new Aston?

‘Christ! Amazing car man but, well, where are the kids gonna sit?’

Then of course you had to explain that you’d bought a Range Rover for Maureen and the kids to use and after that Steve just went a bit quiet He said that he was really chuffed for you but you could see the tightness around his mouth and something in his eyes that you couldn’t quite put your finger on. You never did get to really show him round the car did you? You’d had it all planned out as well, the two of you turning up at the pub and ordering your Martini’s from the long suffering Jim but it just didn’t feel right after that…

It’s not like your friends haven’t benefited is it? Do you remember that time that you took them all out for dinner at that posh French restaurant? You were so proud of Maureen that night, you’d never been able to afford to buy her anything really nice and, yes, that dress may have been a bit glam but the woman in Harrods said it was a really top brand. Why did the other wives have to take the piss behind her back? All those comments about mutton dressed as lamb? You were sure that she heard because she went really quiet after the main course but she never said anything…..£3000 for dinner and all you got were bitchy comments and jokes about the size of the portions:

‘I think I might need to pick up a kebab on the way home, did you see the size of those portions?’

Ha ha bloody ha!

rish-russian-women-shoppi-007I think it was after that that you met Giles and Veronica wasn’t it? They seemed nice enough but their friends were a bit much; all that talk about ‘wine pairings’ and ‘haute cuisine’, what’s all that about? You’d really hoped that Maureen would make some new friends but she said that she felt ‘out of place’. They did take her shopping that one time but she said that she’d remembered when she’d had to save up for that coat in M&S and she just couldn’t bring herself to pay £300 for a t-shirt and she came home with nothing. Apparently they’d all been given champagne in the shop and all the other women said that she looked ‘simply marvelous’ in the t-shirt but didn’t you think she looked a bit sad when she was telling you about her day?

It probably hasn’t helped that she doesn’t do so much with the kids these days; they’ve really taken to this new life haven’t they? Didn’t Mark say that he was off skiing next week and Sarah seems to spend all her time shopping; it’s funny but they’ve even started talking differently; have you noticed?

All that stuff on Twitter upset her as well didn’t it. What was it they said about the big new star being stuck with a heifer, let’s be honest, that’s got to hurt hasn’t it? She did well to lose all that weight though didn’t she and that botox stuff certainly makes a difference. I don’t really see why she wasn’t happier about it, I mean, yes she was then little Miss Plastic on Twitter but, well, that’s Twitter isn’t it, I don’t know why she got so upset about it all…

Perhaps a nice holiday would help cheer Maureen up? Oh yes, that’s a great idea! Do you remember when you and the gang used to go to Ibiza for a week every summer, it was such a crack! Mind you, after those 2 weeks in the Maldives in March…..flying first class, 5 star hotel, your own personal butler; how are you going to top that? If you think about it that hotel in Ibiza was a bit grotty wasn’t it? No, Maureen deserves better than that doesn’t she; why don’t you pick up a brochure for the Caribbean?

That’s the idea, just finish this chapter (your face was a picture when you saw the size of the advance for book 3), have a cup of tea with Maureen and then the two of you can pop down to the travel agents. That should cheer her up a bit shouldn’t it; she’s really seemed a bit down just lately……..

sad manOh God, I don’t know what to say. When did you find the note did you say? That morning when you were planning the holiday? How could she go off with Steve? After the way he treated you!? You gave that woman everything and she’s run off with a bloody plumber!

Look, I know it’s tough, Maureen’s gone and you only get to see the kids once a week but look at what you’ve got! That third book has just hit the stratosphere, you’ve already sold the film rights what more do you want, you’ve got everything you’ve ever dreamed of and that girl you had on your arm last night, hubba hubba!!! What do you mean you’ve got nothing in common with her? Well yes you’re old enough to be her father but so what, she’s an absolute babe and, if it doesn’t work out with her, there are hundreds more who’d be happy to take her place.

Can’t you see, you’ve made it!

Lisa x

15 Minutes of…….Fame?

Have you heard of Love Island? I hadn’t until today but, apparently 4 times as many people apply to take part in it than apply to go to Oxbridge (Oxford or Cambridge Universities). Why? Well, this is just my opinion you understand, because the former offers the chance of instant ‘fame’ and oodles of cash and the latter requires a lot of hard work and effort. 

Have you heard of Love Island? I hadn’t until today but, apparently 4 times as many people apply to take part in it than apply to go to Oxbridge (Oxford or Cambridge Universities). Why? Well, this is just my opinion you understand, because the former offers the chance of instant ‘fame’ and oodles of cash and the latter requires a lot of hard work and effort.

love-islandIn an attempt to understand this latest televisual phenomenon I had a look at an article in the Independent Newspaper and, I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t understand a word of it; Chaucer made more sense to me than this article! Still, not to be deterred I continued with my investigation and found something that explained the ‘plot’…..I think. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong but the idea seems to be that a group of young, physically attractive men and women are put together in a villa in Spain, things happen and someone wins £50,000 – is that about the size of it? Apparently, when the show is over, a fair few of the contestants, at least the popular ones, then go on to make more cash by endorsing products and generally being a ‘celebrity’.

I’ve got to admit, I don’t really get reality TV; why not just look out of the window if you want to see reality or, better yet, go outside and experience it. However, I do understand people who want to take part, don’t we all want our 15 minutes of fame? I just wish that the 80,000+ people who auditioned had slightly higher aspirations than getting their kit off on television and having their every waking moment filmed for the vicarious pleasure of their ‘fans’. I also wish that something more was required of the contestants than just to look beautiful and that the show had some other purpose than to promote the idea that you can get something for nothing in life…….After all there is no skill in being attractive, that’s just the luck of the genes.

oxford graduationMaybe this is just harmless entertainment but I do wonder why more young people seem to aspire to celebrity than academia; yes, you can get your 15 minutes of fame but then what? At least with an Oxbridge education you are pretty much guaranteed work anywhere in the World but as a Z list celebrity what have you got to look forward to as you get older – reality I suppose…

What do you think? I’d love to hear from you

Lisa

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