Can anybody please tell me what it’s like to be “normal”? I’d like to know. I’ve been chasing after it my entire life. The closer I get to what I think it is, the further away it always seems to be. It’s like trying to pet a unicorn. It’s like working to quench my thirst with the distant promise in a desert mirage. It’s that pot of gold at the end of my ever-moving rainbow.
My 30 year attempt (and subsequent failure) to reach “normal” has brought me to ponder whether “normal” even exists, or if it is nothing more than delusional grandeur based in the sounds of those sweet sirens drawing my ship in all the wrong directions.
I suppose the first question to ask is, “what is normal?”
The fastest way to get hundreds of comments telling me I’m an idiot and the devil, would be for me to actually try and paint that picture.
I could state that normal was a certain body type. I could make claims that it is a certain way of dressing, styling hair, or speaking. I could say that it is attached to race or religion. I could fasten it to crime rates, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. I could assign specific music, television, and web surfing preferences. I could bring income into it. I could make the assumption based on intrinsic things such as integrity, determination, and self-doubt. Genders certainly could play their roles as well.
[Ugh] Just writing that paragraph was painful, I’m sure reading it was even more so. It seems so silly to think that everyone on earth can be painted into one solitary corner. Yet, we attempt to do just that. Constantly. We look for what we believe the common denominator of all mankind to be, so that we can be it. We don’t want to stand out (or we desperately do), so we decide what the median of everybody else is and base our next decisions on that.
I’ve got great news. There is no such thing as normal. We’ve been deluded. It doesn’t exist. Think about it…
How many decisions have you made in your entire life? How many conversations have you had? How many books have you read? How many songs have you sung along with? How many meals have you enjoyed? How many times has your heart been broken? How many times have you made a mistake? How many times have you hurt another? How many times have you moved to a different home? How many friends do you have? How many goals have you worked toward? How many pets have you owned? How many likes and dislikes define you? How many pet peeves? What have been your medical challenges? What brought you to where you are right now?
Don’t you get it? There is no other you. Out of the six and a half billion people on earth, not a single one of them has had the same experiences in life that you have had. None of them share the exact same passions and struggles. None of them have lived your life. None of them.
You are the product of you, and nothing else. Every decision you have ever made over your entire life has led you exactly to where you are right at this moment. Simplified… You are you because of you.
I am me because of me.
And everybody else is everybody else because of what they did to get there. Because of their own choices. Because of their own paths.
There is no “normal” because there isn’t a single common trait shared by “everyone”. There is nothing that everyone is doing or that everyone is. Guaranteed. So quit trying to find it. “Normal” is a holy grail, nothing else.
And, if there is no other you, then that means there is no other me, and there is no other Jim-Bob over there, and there is no other Sally-Sue, and there is no other Javier, Betty, or Dirk.
I can already see the first argument to this. Dan, maybe you can’t clump the entire world into an interpretation of “normal”, but you can certainly clump areas or groups of people.
This is the disease called “Perfection” at its best. We lose ourselves as to how large this world really is, and we try to define ourselves by the people living immediately around us. We look for what “normal” is and we go for it. We look at our perfect next door neighbor and try to live up to them or outdo them.
I’m going to do you a favor and show you a visual. I live in a fairly small town (about 7,000 people). Here is me, compared to just the people living within a three-mile radius of me.
Now, since I love to torture myself, I am going to get a giant lasso and try and rope it around all of those people so that I can figure out what it is that they all are, and try to be that. Why? Because I want to be “normal”.