An Open Letter to the Extraordinarily Average Person


Every decision you make has the power to affect your life. Immediately or somewhere down the road, every choice you’ve made has made an impact on your life.


I recently read an article from Elle Luna about what to do at the crossroads between should and must. She describes should as what others want you to do, and what you are supposed to think based on what society, or your parents, or what your significant other wants you to do.


A must is your passion. A must decision is one where you are so drawn to the image in your head of your life that you cannot help but pursue it regardless of any future risks.


While I agree with the majority of the article and would love to follow my passion and make millions of dollars on the world's next big trend. I can’t help but think, what is it?


I am curiously passionate about many different things. I am educated on a variety of topics. And I can hold a conversation with the CEO of a company and the homeless man outside my apartment. At the same time, if such a thing would happen.


I am an extraordinarily average person.


I am now in my late twenties and the picture I have had in my head of my life has changed 30 times and I expect it to change another 30 over the next 40-something years.


And in these 20-something years what I have discovered is that what I don’t have: The next photo that will “break the internet” nor the next great technical invention that will challenge Apple for years to come.


I’ve read so many “inspirational” articles about following your passion and people quitting their jobs to travel the world and CEOs who worked a McJob while starting their empire. But what I haven’t read lately is an article that empowers millennials that choosing the “risk-free” life is already what millions of people have done for years.


The truth is, choosing a “should” path isn’t always because you have the choice between the two. You choose “should” because a year from now you question whether or not you will enjoy what your passion was. You choose “should” because you have accepted that you are okay with being “average”. You choose “should” because you don’t know what you want to do.


And the truth about a “must” choice is that it’s scary. Money, time, dedication, and admitting your fear of failure is what choosing “must” does.


I can’t make the decision for you. A life of should or must is your choice and choosing one now doesn’t mean you can’t choose the other later. I am simply here to tell you that choosing the life that doesn’t include inventing the self-driving car or visiting every country possible—the average life—can be just as fulfilling.


I believe in challenging yourself every day and believe that life is messy. So when you come to your crossroads, choose the path that you will be satisfied with. Not the one you should, or must take.   

Last Updated: May 24, 2017
About the author

Cally Martin

Callan is a social media loving, blog writing, event planning freelancer who believes in the power of the oxford comma. Originally from America’s high-five (Michigan), she’s been in Austin since 2015 and doesn’t plan on moving anytime soon. When not attached to WiFi, she can be found running around the lake or drinking mimosas at brunch.