Written by Lee
In high school, I wasn't the super-popular chick, the homecoming queen, the lead in the musical, the track team star, the valedictorian or anything spectacular like that. But even though I wasn't THE best, let's just say I was one of the best.
I was known by many, attended the homecoming dance, played many supporting roles in theater, ran the back stretch of the 4 x 100 relay team that competed in the state meet placing fourth, and my graduating GPA placed me like 10th out of class of near 600.
I felt, I guess you could say, like a big fish in a little sea. But I didn't even realize the sea was little then. In retrospect I guess I felt like a big fish in a big sea.
I remember pretty darn vividly what it felt like to go from my high school in Phoenix with my list of semi-decent achievements and enter my freshmen year at the University of Southern California. To leave a campus of over two thousand and walk around a campus of like thirty thousand.
It didn't take me much longer than sitting in on a few of the classes in the college honors program that I somehow qualified for to realize uh, I'm not that smart.
I thought I wanted to major in drama, but after an acting class or two, I realized I'm not that talented.
And even though I played four years of competitive soccer at USC, I realized even there, I'm not that good.
It all hit me like a ton of bricks a few months into my freshmen year.
I am totally and utterly average.
Sure, there were plenty of people below me in a variety of ways, but there were also a bazillion people above me, ahead of me, just uh, bigger than me.
And with a huge dry gulp, I began my lifelong journey as a little fish.
In a big, deep, thrashing, never-ending sea.
I've been reflecting on this big fish idea as I've cruised around in recent weeks reading all kinds of posts from what I would call bigger fish in the blogworld expressing feelings of disappointment and confusion as to where their community was heading with the onslaught of new blogs on the scene that focus on, I guess, the business side of mommy-blogging as opposed to the creative side of it. I know that's boiling it down to one particular angle but it seems that's the general point of the stuff I've read. I've tried to understand where they're coming from, I really have, but I just don't get it.
The way it seems to me is that, to put it simply, the sea is getting bigger and with all of these little fish swimming around, it's just tougher to be a big fish.
Feeling like a big fish is cool. It seems part of human nature to want to harness that big fish feeling. Easier to swim amidst all those choppy waves.
But when it all shakes down in the end, we all are little fish. And I kinda wish we could all swim around together a little more peacefully.
When I look at my three little ones cruising around in their small worlds, I am reminded of the natural transition that occurs as our brains twist and grow and we come to the intellectual realization someday that we are simply a pebble of sand on the beach of life.
But emotionally, that's the rough part. I think it's hard to wrap your heart and feelings around the fact that in the sea of life the one person that's really gonna care the most about you and make you feel like a big fish, even though you're not, is you. But I think that's the truth.
There is so much in the current online social structure that is screaming at the part of us that innately yearns to be a big fish. Again, the awards and the numbers and the followers. Yada yada yada. And not that long ago when the sea was much much smaller, it was a hell of a lot easier it seems to feel well, like a big fish.
Now, I want to be clear. I totally acknowledge the pioneers of this field. The ones who paved the way and began settling the wild west of parent blogging. I feel anyone who has been blogging since 2004 or earlier is one of those pioneers. And right on to you. And I don't even think you're average. You are actually way above average in my book. You harnessed an idea early on, created a community and became a sea of voices. It's just getting a little harder to hear your voice with the rising din of all these fishy fins splashing around.
Basically the landscape is a' changing. As it always does.
Sometimes when I'm driving on the jam-packed freeways of Los Angeles with red brake lights and white headlights as far as the eye can see in all directions, I wonder how these gazillion drivers stuck behind their wheels think about their place in the grand scheme of things? Are they still holding out some hope that somewhere, someway, somehow, they will be a big fish? Even though the reality of their little fish existence is smacking them right in the middle of the forehead just beyond their windshield?
I look through the traffic and feel grateful that I already know I'm a little fish. I had my revelation years ago and even though there have been times in my life when that big fish feeling came flooding into my being, I knew it was fleeting.
It always is.
And really. I'm totally and utterly fine with being a little fish.