If you would have asked my four year old self what I was going to be when I grew up, I would have responded with ‘famous’. If you asked this question to my 6, 8, 10, 15, 18 year old self, the response would be the same. In fact, I even won ‘most likely to become famous’ alongside my date at prom.
Although I went to University and then college instead of walking a red carpet, I held onto the belief that perhaps I wouldn’t be famous; but I could be special at the craft I would choose for my career. I was driven not by ego or the need for recognition, but for my own personal desire to be bigger, to create something that makes a movement, to be sparklier than expected. Perhaps I would be a VP before 28. A top 30 under 30. A young woman who founded a successful not for profit. A YouTube star.
I now sit at my desk as a 28 year old copywriter. Over the past 5ish years, I have welcomed each new job title with eagerness and excitement. I have worked my ass off for long hours, navigating varying personalities, writing for the biggest brands and raising my hand every time I could. I am tired, with a long list of experience behind me, and I’ve officially realized that I’m completely and utterly average.
This realization has been growing, and was recently reinforced when my salary was described as ‘industry standard’. I have not even come close to reaching fame, but I’ve become standard. I am not one of those people who make it to 30 with an office (and door) to show for it. I have not brought freedom to foreign countries. I am not a sought after entrepreneur taking Bay Street by storm.
But as I digest this notion and attempt at defining my next steps as an adult, I realize that perhaps instead of being discouraged by not having my name in lights, I should be thankful for the growth I’ve experienced as a 20-something making her way through the world and celebrate the journey I have had to date – where I have come from; the inspiring people I have met; the irreplaceable lessons I’ve learned; and all the beers, fears and tears I picked along the way.
In an age of immediate results, we ‘millennials’ have been bred to believe that our success too, should be immediate. While there will always be those who top the industry charts or find their work into a senior role before the rest (deservingly so), the majority of us must find our ‘famous’ moments in the magic of the everyday: the way we present an idea that has a client smile; the joy we bring when we volunteer in our community; the excitement of renting two floors of a house; how we’ve become the go-to friend for life advice.
So no, I am not famous. My face has never hit the big screens. My name has never been engraved into an industry plaque. No, I’ve never been a trending topic. And although, I will forever carry the ‘f word’ with me, for now, I’m totally content, totally happy with being ‘industry standard’.