We live in an extraordinary world. Sometimes it is overwhelmingly as such. Earlier this week, I was working in a coffee shop while listening to an NPR segment about which parts of the workforce should be concerned about losing their jobs to artificial intelligence. What an extraordinarily bleak predicament,I thought, but I guess that’s 2018.
My social media feeds are full of solo-preneurs, side-hustlers, artists, engineers, and small business owners who are constantly creating, producing, and consuming new information and ideas. Being extraordinary, for many of us, has become so ordinary that’s it’s almost unnoticeable.
It’s like being stuck in a room with a funky smell long enough for your brain to adapt. Except in this case it’s an amazing smell, like hot, frying bacon, and we all need to go outside immediately so we can walk back inside for some bacon aromatherapy.
Before I signed up for a SPIN® certification class and worked my way onto the sub list at the first studio I taught at, I was essentially placed on the “B” list of potential instructors for a soon-to-be-opened studio. The studio owners, as the rejection email explained, had never worked in the fitness industry before, so they had to go with experience. They elected to start small, hiring only three to four instructors who had prior experience with group fitness. “You were next in line,” the email said. “If we could have taken one more, we would have taken you!” The niceties continued: Don’t give up! You’re on our radar!
It was an encouraging rejection letter, but it was still a rejection letter. In this case the “B” list didn’t mean anything. In football, second-string gets you a paycheck and some small hope of playing when the competition wanes. This was not football and I was not second-string. I had been handed a nice but crushing “better luck next time” with no real promise of a next time.
I went looking for a next time anyway. I chose to spend a little cash on a certification I wasn’t even sure I’d use because that’s what it took. I reached out to teachers I admired. I tapped my steering wheel to beat of every song and eventually I worked my way from the sub list to a regular class time.
5:30pm - 45 minutes - Abby
Seeing my tiny name in it’s own 45 minute-sized square for the first time felt extraordinary. Sometimes I would catch myself checking the schedule throughout the day, as if expecting to have woken up from this little dream and see that my name had never actually been on the schedule.
But there it stayed, pixelated and persistent. It showed up in a second block, and then a third, and then a fourth.
A few hours after my coffee date with the bleak future of artificial intelligence, I was sitting on a bike, as a student, waving a white towel above my head in circle and sending deep, bounding “woos” into the air as a friend and RINSE rider taught his first class to a sold-out studio.
Who cares about robots taking over when there’s magic like this happening?
and that’s when it happened—I could smell the bacon again.
What had become ordinary to me is incredibly extraordinary.
I had spent so much time in my own kitchen, looking out the window in devastating awe of the extraordinary things going on outside of my life (in the lives of others), that I’d forgotten just how good I had it and how good I had made it. It's easy to get wrapped up in, and even intimated by, the grandeur of others but that's them. This is about you and your extraordinary bacon.
Sure, you don’t want to cook so much of the same bacon that you start to get sick of the smell. Gratitude and appreciation of your current situation doesn’t have to keep you stuck. You can hone your craft, change it up, learn more, reinvent your style, or start over completely if you're not digging that smell any more. You can start challenging yourself to find new, remarkable things inside the ordinary extraordinary you’ve already created, just don't forget to remind yourself it's there.
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Hump Day Headspace: surrender to stuck and stop the suck
August 29, 2018
Life is not a tattoo: the paradox of pain and perfection