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The Mediocre Myth, a Narrative Poem

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Besides writing psychological poetry, Mark enjoys exploring a variety of topics from surfing to juicy grandma kisses.

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Recreating Our Own Stories

We are often victims of people‘s stories. Too often, family or friends define us, and their distorted view has stuck to us like an unwanted mole on our cheek.

Looking back over my early years, I can name several people who attempted to define me. For instance, the guidance counselor in my high school saw me in a way that was anything but flattering based on my numbers from an SAT exam. He didn’t know me from Adam but formed a judgment that I had a hard time shaking. He felt he was Nostradamus, predicting my future. The guidance counselor saw me as a pitiful student who probably wouldn't make it in college so he suggested that I get into my father's produce business (which wasn't a bad thing for my father but not something that I wanted).

Well, of course, I proved the counselor wrong. I ended up with several advanced degrees from very prestigious universities, no thanks to him.

We don't have to live by people's narratives. They are just stories to pigeonhole or label us. If we buy into them, we could forever limit or restrict our potential.

Enjoy The Mediocre Myth and its video.


The Mediocre Myth, by Mark Tulin

For much of my life,

I saw myself as average.

I flunked second grade.

The guidance counselor said

my SAT scores indicated

a poor college aptitude

and I’d be better off doing manual labor.


I clung to the myth of being mediocre.

Stayed underemployed longer than I should.

Married a woman supposedly much brighter.

Our daughter didn’t get her brains

from me, I was repeatedly told.

I was just the provider.


For years, I denied how smart I was.

I bought into the whole story

that I was a slow learner.

That it wasn’t me who had the Mensa DNA.

It wasn’t me who was gifted and super creative.

It was those special people

who went to Stanford and MIT.


So, with time and several advanced degrees,

I constructed a more flattering narrative.

Stopped walking with my head down

and an attitude of resignation.

I took pride in my intellectual side.

Put to sleep the average myth.

I finally elevated myself.

The Mediocre Myth Video

© 2019 Mark Tulin

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