It may sound harsh, but it needs to be said (and heard): you will never be normal.
None of us will. Nota single one. Why? Because there is no such thing as “normal”. Nope, nada, nothing at all. It doesn’t exist except in our own minds. And each and every one of us has our own different and unique mind.
Yes, there are all sorts of ways to measure how often things happen. We have means, medians and modes. But those just mean averages, middles and frequencies. They do not mean normal.
Because “normal” can’t be measured.
How many times have you beaten yourself up over the idea that you aren’t living a “normal” life? That you aren’t doing everything in the order in which it was intended and in the way it’s been done by everyone else. I’ve done it plenty of times.
And I guarantee you that if we shared with each other that “normal” ideal we’re striving to live by, no two would be the same.
The idea of “normal” is, well, normal in theory, but in practice it’s anything but.
Our beliefs of how we should be living our lives are shaped by so many factors, including our gender, race, environment in which we grew up, ethnicity, religion, and even where we are physically located.
Those factors shape what we believe to be “normal”, but no two human experiences are exactly the same.
I remember meeting a woman at a party once who shared with me her story about marrying her husband. She was from a very small town in Texas and when she got engaged in her late 20s the people back home were so relieved! They couldn’t understand why she had waited so long. They’d spent many years asking her why she wasn’t married and implying she may be doing something wrong.
At the time she was living and working in New York City and when she announced her engagement (again, in her late 20s) her friends and coworkers couldn’t understand why she was rushing to get married at such a young age. In their minds she still had so much to do and learn and experience. Why would she want to be held down by such a huge commitment right now?
She was one person with one reality and two very different ideas of what it is to be “normal”.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting your life to go a certain way. We all do it! We all set expectations and to some extent hold ourselves accountable to those expectations regardless of the way our lives actually go.
But when we fight to uphold these standards because we tell ourselves they’re what we’re supposed to do, or that it’s the “normal” way to go, we’re forcing a logic that doesn’t exist.
We’re pressuring ourselves with an ideal that is just in our head.
I may want to be married by a certain age or have children when I think I’m supposed to, but that doesn’t mean these are the only options. That doesn’t mean it’s normal. And once we begin to realize that it has the potential to free us of these standards. Standards that may actually be completely unrealistic to our own reality.
The only thing that’s “normal” is believing there actually is a “normal”. We all do it.
But that normal doesn’t exist in the same way for anyone else. There’s no one way to go about this thing called life. And it’s perfectly acceptable to change your mind and your goals and your expectations at any point along the way.
In the end, we're all a little weird in our own ways. Let's normalize that.
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