"I think you are one of the person who prefers a.... more normal life?"
I looked at my friend and smiled. The comment felt almost like stab at my heart. Not that the comment itself was offensive or hurtful, but it gave me a sudden jolt back to reality. A painful realization perhaps. Of what I've always wanted versus what I am capable now.
A normal life.
Growing up, I hated the term. I think most of us did. With all the different TV shows and cartoons we watch since young, it's hard not to get sucked into the idea where you're the hero of some epic story. The messages that follow soon after when you step into the teenage years do not help too. You're constantly being told that you are special, that you are unique and that your life will be different than others. It will be filled with adventure and excitement, without a moment of dullness in it.
A normal life, where life takes the same routine every day, seemed to be reserved for the losers. People who are not special. It is boring and uneventful. Meaningless. Everyone can lead a "normal" life, but not everyone can be special, the hero.
Do I want a normal life?
The answer used to be a big fat NO. I wanted a life that is different. One that is high flying, where new things happen every day. Monotony is the rare happening in this life, where every day is power packed with activities. A life of influence, where every decision you make has a big impact. One that can change the life of many people.
I used to want that kind of life. But as I left university and started working, I started to realize that to have that kind of life, one needs to have the necessary skills for it. Not to mention a raw drive and immense dedication to achieve your goals. Something that I clearly don't have.
Live your life as if it was your last day on earth. Pursue whatever interest that you want. Experience life as fully as you can. Those were good advice. But if there was one advice that I wish I stuck to when I was young, it would be to focus one and only one skill. And to make sure you are damn good at that skill.
Be it programming, drawing or people management, I realized that in order to be successful, to be different that others, to lead a non-normal life, you must have at least one niche. One that makes you stand out from the crowd.
But when you have a tons of skills that are neither here nor there, that's when you realize that you can't really go anywhere. Which is why I am now in this normal life, trying desperately to break out, wondering what type of extraordinary skills that I could bank on.