First, there were the Oscars.
Impossibly stellar, impossibly glamorous.
Then there was ‘University Challenge’ (BBC, channel 2).
Impossibly sharp, impossibly erudite.
I couldn’t help but banter, “cheer up, honey, we’re somewhere in the middle…and somehow, really far from either one or the other”.
My husband and I laughed.
The Hollywood glamour seemed so extravagant, dazzling.
The ‘University Challenge’ participants – some undergraduates, some PhD students in physics, chemistry, economics, still in their 20s, mainly from stellar universities – seemed so unreal with their intelligence.
And these two ‘extremes’ made me think about the middle.
Michael Jarrett, in his book “Changeability – why some companies are ready for change and others aren’t”, talks about the ability to change and, to come to my point, warns of “comfort zones” and the need to get out of them.
The necessity to get out of the “middle”.
‘The middle’ we create for ourselves and live, breathe, persist, and prevail almightily – unwilling to move not even an inch farther out.
The middle between bad and good
the middle between lazy and hardworking
the middle between the genius and the idiot
the middle between rich and poor
the middle between religion and atheism
the middle which will never be judged
the middle which will never be picked
the middle which will remain alone – when one side is taken and the other one has finished.
In the middle of the road, where it feels like the end will never come…because we’re in the middle.
In the middle of nowhere.
Smack in the middle.
The middle ground.
From my parents’ upbringing most likely, I often push myself out of my own comfort zone.
And it’s so good when you manage to do it!
When I’m tired, I stay awake longer.
When I’m hungry, I go and run 5 miles.
When I can’t be bothered about certain events, I focus on the individual to get their perspective, because that’s how I learn to care.
That’s what I’d teach my kids: push away from the middle, exactly when the comfort zone feels so comfortable.
It’s not as hard after the first time!