Webster’s dictionary defines it as you see below.
With no special or distinctive features; normal is what it says. I weigh that heavily as I’ve always wanted to stand out.
I grew up in a house with 9 people in it. My father remarried, she had 2 boys and a girl; my father had 4 boys; a real Brady Bunch back in the 70’s.
As you can see, what I did had to mean something. If I was ordinary I didn’t stand out, I didn’t get praise and all those things you want and need as a child from your parents.
As an adult, everywhere I went in the working world, I tried to stand out. I survived 25 years in a heavily changing Information Technology (IT) world by standing out. My not being ordinary helped me get promotions and raises and adapt to the fast changing technology from dumb terminals to Internet apps.
In Houston, as a hobbyist filmmaker, I wasn’t ordinary. It was a cool thing to do and it fed my inner need for knowledge. It separated me from the people I worked with. I felt special. (That’s a whole different blog post that’s on my list.) It was something I could learn that is fun and I was able to show my wacky sense of humor but also tell impacting stories. I wasn’t ordinary. We had tons of filmmakers, writers; all great people making features, short films and having fun doing it. There’s nothing ordinary about that.
In Los Angeles, as a filmmaker, you are one face in the crowd. Everybody is making a short film, a web series, feature film, writing screenplays, doing improv, doing comedy, and the list goes on. This is an entire industry where everybody is ordinary. Everyone is a face in that crowd of the entertainment business.
I am having trouble putting on that ordinary jacket here. I had long sessions with my therapist in Houston about this long before I got to Los Angeles. We talked about being ordinary. It just doesn’t fit right, like that jacket. Yet, to be extraordinary, I have to start by being ordinary. I have to fit into the crowd, be a faceless creature in this sea of filmmakers, actors, writers, directors and so on. I love being unique. Who amongst us doesn’t want to be special? I do. It’s something I worked at in our Brady Bunch household. It’s something I’m trying to keep here in Los Angeles.
To find the ordinary is one of my key challenges in this move to Los Angeles. I have to make that work for me. I have to start out being ordinary to become extraordinary.