Sins and Virtues of Mediocrity

This post is old, so what you see here may not reflect my current opinion and mindset, certain information may be outdated, and links may be broken.

Lately I’ve been thrown with compliments here and there. Last week, somebody said I was a “computer genius” (in Korean). Today, I was blessed with, “Tara reads a lot of books, so she’s good with words” (again, in Korean). Twenty minutes ago, I was called a “genius” by a friend who was amazed I could access her files on her website.

Well, there are several problems with this picture here. Take the first scenario: the person who said that doesn’t really use a computer, which I assume is the case since she was an older Korean ahjumma. The second scenario: another older Korean ahjumma asked me how to spell “curious”, and she’s ESL. The third scenario: well, er, I don’t think genius was warranted there since I’ve navigated around control panels and FTP for years, but even then I was stumped when I saw three different directories of the same bloody content. !@#$!@#$

In other words, do I really deserve these compliments? Actually, I get these compliments a lot, especially from Korean people, but should I accept them? I am not saying I shouldn’t, but this got me to think about something. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a very mediocre person, so mediocre to the point that I wished I wasn’t that! Let’s take the following hobbies/skills I like and am capable of doing.

  • Computer Softwares versus Hardware: With Desktop Publishing, I experiment, mostly. I have this weird patience to experiment Microsoft Office programme. Same thing with webpage designing, coding, and graphics designing. However, I don’t have the brain of a programmer or the eyes of an artist at times. I just try to colour-coordinate and make everything simple. I strangely don’t have the patience to do pixel by pixel designing. That drives me nuts. My fault lies in with computer hardware. Point out a motherboard to me, I will not know. Point out questions like how to make a page print landscape instead of portrait, I’ll know.
  • Musician Skills: I am not good with the piano. The weird thing about me is I memorise my hand movements more than anything else. I have difficulties trying to coordinate my hands and eyes while reading sheet music. So I just take my slow time learning the hand movements. I have a similar disadvantage with the saxophone, too. I never learned how to tongue! Don’t ask how I got into Advanced Band like that, but I did. X_X;; However, I have enough musical skills in me to memorise melodies and rhythm. Just don’t ask me what key a song is in since I’m apparently tone deaf with that.
  • English Major Galore: My biggest fault is that I have much troubles with subject-verb agreements and tense-shifts issue. These pose enough problems when I’m trying to write. I’ve discovered that I just cannot write like some people. However, I can skim a book really quickly when I want to, and spelling is actually not that difficult for me. I was always more of a visual person, so I enjoy reading. To me, reading and writing is a joy, but the latter is just something I know I am not strong in! Oh and my vocabulary sucks. BOO. I should read a dictionary or a thesaurus instead of mangas, eh?

See, the problem is that I am good at some parts of it and crap at others. There are people who will always be better at computer programming and “hardwaring”, graphics designing, playing musical instruments, being a better writer with a higher vocabulary level, and etcetera! I know somewhere along the line, I realised that I just don’t have that one talent to say I’m good at something. I’m just so effing mediocre that it’s not funny. I wish I did have that one talent, whether it’s writing, teaching, or hell even punching a punching bag until it opened would be nice, too! Well, maybe not the last one, but I wished I was good at something.

I do feel a bit remorseful for not having that single talent to be proud of, but I’ve discovered that I’m actually glad in a way. I feel like if I was good at that one thing, I wouldn’t be the well-rounded person I am today. I am not saying that a mathematician will not enjoy reading or anything, but well, I fit the stereotype of being absolutely craptacular at math, so I prefer words — so I’m sure there will be somebody opposite of that as well. I have many hobbies, so I don’t stick to one thing. Of course having such a diverse tastes also make me utterly BLEH since I have so much choices to choose from in life, but it’s not a bad thing. I may not have that one special talent, but I have bits and pieces of it here and there, and I’m thankful for it.

Some days I will feel disgusted at my mediocrity, but most days I’ll love it because it’s a part of me.


  1. Haha, we’re pretty similar. Each time I open up my computer case to install/fix hardware, someone always gets injured. I have no idea what I’m doing in there, except the dusting. weee! I can dust! I never knew how to tongue with the clarinet. It comes up sounding like a robot or an alarm siren. Hahaha. English: I’m not so great with grammar and vocabulary. It’s really embarrassing when I’m around people who use big words.

  2. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and I think it’s reasonable that everyone excels at a part of something than the whole thing. It’s hard to master something completely. Sometimes it’s not that you’re not good at it, it’s a choice. I love programming and pick up any programming language easily, but I choose to ignore hardware, because… I think it’s utterly boring XD;; I think you should be proud of what you can already do, even if it’s not the complete field.

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