What it’s like to be mediocre
Posted August 12, 2008on:
There are days when I really do feel invisible. This week has been strange as we’ve had a new person starting and I’ve observed the fawning that people do sometimes. For whatever reasons, I wasn’t fawned over (or even particularly noticed much) when I first started working here. I’m glad that things are different for him. And I’m trying to make sure that I’m part of that change.
I might just suffer from low self-esteem (in fact, it’s likely I do.) There are times when I want to jump up and down and yell “Notice me. Pay attention to me.” But there’s the other part of me that embraces me general anonymity. As an introvert who feels uncomfortable with too much attention, it’s nice to blend into the scenery.
On the flip side, as I work towards tenure and trying to make an identity for myself in the library world (even if it’s a small identity) I have to step outside my comfort zone often. Yet, I’m intimidated all over the place. There are smarter, more talented, and better people out there. I’ve got to stop measuring myself by yardsticks that don’t fit me.
The upshot is that I’m trying to figure out what it is I do well. What type of librarian am I? What are my talents and what do I bring to the table? At the same time, I’m navigating how to best express myself so what I have to say (when it’s important) is considered and listened to. One thing that is difficult for me is keeping my mouth shut. Silence can be a powerful tool when you use it to emphasize the few things you do say. Of course, it can also make other people uncomfortable. However, that is a nice tool as well to keep people on their toes. *laugh*
Thing is, I’m not an A-lister, an early adopter, or that proverbial voice in the wilderness that people stop to listen to. But I am trying to make what I have to say valuable. I’m thinking and researching and learning on a daily basis, even if some things take me longer to grasp. And while I might still be mediocre, I intend to do it with class and style.