Sporadic Awesomeness

VanderVision Tip of the Day: Awesomeness is sporadic. People who are "awesome" all the time are not really awesome. They are sick. And they are to be pitied.

Normally, I save the Tip of the Day for the end of the post. But today's is too important not to share right away. It's something I know but don't know at the same time. It's wet-noodle slippery in my mind and some days I manage to grab hold of it, and other days it eludes me entirely. But that doesn't change the fact that it is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT ABSOLUTELY TRUE. And if it's true enough for caps lock, it's true enough for you.

Awesomeness is sporadic. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

If you read my blog often, you already know that I'm real here. Silly and facetious at times, yes, but also real. I'm polite but I don't sugar-coat my opinions. I don't share everything, but what I share is genuine and it usually really means something to me. Even my silliness matters, because it's an intrinsic part of who I am.

When I was nine, I fell in with this group of girls at my new school. This group had a leader, and a powerful one at that (for a nine-year-old anyway). Now, my memories of Celeste are skewed by the lens of memory, and the lens of I-was-a-hypersensitive-shy-girl, but I think I'm being accurate and fairly unbiased when I say that she was HORRID. She threatened to withhold friendship if I didn't give her the yummy homemade cookies from my lunch every day. She mocked my clothes, forced me to run errands for her, and humiliated me in various ways on a daily basis. And I was GRATEFUL to her. Because I was the new kid, and she'd gone out of her way to take me under her wing.

One day, after we'd got our Report Cards and I'd foolishly let Celeste and the others in the group see it, there was a knock on the door. I was surprised to see Celeste and two of my other friends standing on the doorstep, and even more surprised when I got the telling off of my life. I was doing too well in class. Our beloved teacher had praised me to the skies in the comment section of the report card, and my high grades were making my friends look bad. They harassed me, threatened me, and I had to face a very bleak ultimatum. Stop trying so hard or you will have no friends.

Looking back, I see how ridiculous it was. But I was nine, and I was shy, and I had a desperate need to be noticed, loved, and validated.

And although I grew up and came to realize just how poisonous people like Celeste are, traces of that poison have lingered with me throughout my life. I have been scared to succeed because in my mind, success means losing friends. Success means being envied and hated. Success means loneliness.

One day, I decided to be awesome. I scrapped my old blog and I started this new one, dedicated to the pursuit of awesomeness. And partly I'm joking, and partly I'm deadly serious. I think we need to stop being afraid to be awesome. We need to acknowledge that sometimes we are, and sometimes we aren't, and that's okay. We need to have HORRIBLE days that don't wreck us because THEY ARE ONLY ONE DAY, and because awesomeness is not a grade out of ten on the pop quiz of life. It isn't a one time deal that you can mess up and never have a chance at again.

Yesterday was horrible. I ate badly. I was grumpy. I accomplished little. I never got out of my pajamas. And at the end of the day I thought, man, that was a crappy day and I kind of just want to curl up in a book and pretend reality doesn't exist for awhile. So I did. I read a chapter (Transparent by Natalie Whipple - SO good). And then I got up, looked at my life and thought, I can't make everything in my life awesome, but I can fix this one thing. So I worked at it for a few hours and I fixed it. And it was awesome.

Awesome isn't just a cool world for wonderful. It also means AWE-inspiring. And sometimes I do that to myself. I do something that is so beyond what I think I have the strength or ability to do, that I am in awe of myself. That seems arrogant to say, SEEMS, but it isn't. It's honest. It's real. And it shouldn't inspire shame. We should be able to say, "I was awesome today", without fear of reproach. And we should be able to say, "I was horrible today", also without fear.

Because what it all adds up to is an individual human being who is striving. If you're really trying, to be better than you were, to be something MORE than you have been, then you've got awesomeness nailed. Whether you pull it off every single day or not.

And please, don't let the Celestes of the world get into your head. Don't let them steal your cookies and tell you that it's not okay to be awesome. Because it totally, totally is.


  1. Love this, Kim. I really love this perspective, and I needed it. Thank you!

  2. I love it, too. You're awesome, and you keep making me want to be MORE awesome.