Nobody wants to be average. The word itself comes with a chill. Average food is not worth eating, nor is an average film worth watching. An average doctor is to be avoided at all costs. An average lover? Perish the thought! And how much worse, how much terribly worse, to be an average person. The alternative, preferred by almost everyone, is to be exceptional. To prove that something special inside us has finally found its place of honor in the real world, either through one stunning achievement, or through a series of them that mount like stairs to an imagined, extraordinary self. Laying awake on stressful nights, we often contemplate this distant self, and treat our living, breathing self as if it were some embarrassing memory-in-waiting. This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-Three Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 37 No More Mr. Average The case for grand delusions. Arts & Culture Issue 47 Alice Sheppard On dance as a channel to commune with the body—even when it hurts. Arts & Culture Issue 47 Dr. Woo Meet the tattoo artist who's inked LA. Arts & Culture Issue 47 Walt Odets The author and clinical psychologist on why self-acceptance is the key to a gay man's well-being. Arts & Culture Fashion Issue 47 A Picture of Health Xiaopeng Yuan photographs the world’s weirdest wellness cures. Arts & Culture Issue 47 Chani Nicholas and Sonya Passi Inside the astrology company on a mission to prove workplace well-being is more than a corporate tagline.