“Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.” -Morticia Addams
We are all special and unique; and we are all different and normal at the same time. All of our quirkiness, eccentricities, and personal passions bring color to the world that can sometimes seem drab, with every day bringing “sameness.” We all bring a little diversity to the table, and that is a great thing! It’s like walking into the art museum; if all the canvasses hanging in the gallery were identical, it would be a pretty boring place.
When we try to fit into society’s definition of “normal,” we deny the world the chance to view our fabulous inner spirit, and most likely, we feel pretty unhappy and dissatisfied. It takes some real courage to stand out. I have begun to say no to general “normalcy.” Sure it’s less risky and more socially acceptable just to go with the flow but in exchange for becoming plastic, you suffer fewer rewards. It is quite scary, brave, bold, and completely liberating to show the world your authentic, self.
I had a glimpse of normal when I was a child. It looked like brightly colored splotches of paint on pieces of newsprint paper, art projects made from wire hangers, yarn and buttons, and loads and loads of books. Normal was walking with my grandfather around the quiet neighborhood talking about everything and nothing. Normal was in the library – still my sanctuary. I loved the freedom, the smell of the paper in the older books, the cards that were stamped in purple ink as I checked out my stories for the week. I loved the downstairs section which had quiet orange couches hidden at the back behind the westerns and mysteries. This was my portal to the world and my education.
As a young child, I quickly outgrew the children’s section and I spent hours surrounded by the dark stacks downstairs, where my favorite books were kept. My normal choices, and I hardly deviated, were Sci Fi and the paranormal. Think dragons and mages. Anne McCaffrey – you were my hero.
The rest of my “normal” childhood revolved around messy artwork, (I adore charcoals) and a still growing taste in obscure books. These are what made my heart sing with happiness, filled me with peace, contentment, and food for thought. But somehow, somewhere between childhood and adulthood, I lost my normal.
My peers let me know that reading was geeky unless it was a tacky romance or a school assignment. Shakespeare and Kerouac didn’t fit the bill folks. I told myself that creative expression was just a hobby and not a viable career option. I kept up my art classes, but drifted silently away from my own normal. I figured out how to sort of fit into the normal world around me without rocking too many boats.
I spent years at college and grad school studying subjects that held no passion for me, but still minoring in English. I let the art classes slide away, and took what my family deemed a sensible job that gave me no sense of fulfilment at all. I got married. Like everyone else, I had a mortgage, a car, and kids, but also some dips in the road that filled with a sense of unhappiness, and an unsettled, untapped creative state that showed its terrible, ugly head in rare bouts of self-pity. I’m in the midst of creating my own little earthquake to shake myself up and out right now. I need MY normal, not everyone else’s. And so do you.
Life sends us wake up calls from time to time. Sometimes they’re ear-splitting and force you to look at how you’re really living. It’s time to make a decision. I can choose to rebuild my life as it was, or I could try a new normal. I can reach out to my older, wiser self, and be my own normal, and my own happy.
So, these days my normal is self-employment (read this as: unemployed freelance writer,) but I’m overflowing with passion for my choice. I have found a niche that fits me, my spirit and I’m making some pretty great contacts. Through various outlets I am networking, being offered opportunities for my own self-indulgent growth, and some pretty neat stuff has come to pass in the past few weeks. More on all that later as it happens in real time.
Normal. For me this is the freedom to read, to write, to wear my favorite Doc Martens and comfy jeans without fear of judgement. It is the happiness I feel when I see my own teenaged daughter following her passions, not struggling to fit the plastic molds of society. I’m really proud of her, and of me. She and I are coloring our canvasses with bright, insoluble color, with the flames of passion pushing us, daring us, and if we stand apart from the masses, well, that’s OK. In fact, it’s pretty awesome. (“Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”)
Step by step, I am re-laying my own foundations and letting my sometimes too free spirit design my life. No more advice that starts with: “you should” or “you can’t,” and I am honestly happier, freer. Being my own kind of normal is how I find peace and purpose in my life.
How can YOU, my lovelies, create your own normal? It doesn’t require a trip to the art store or the mall – no self-help books necessary. I give you my 3 simple steps to achieve and maintain your own happy “normal.”
- Do what you love. Period.
- Love the people you want to love. And be magnanimous with that love.
- Love and accept yourself in all of your incredible, amazing glory. Be that firework – bursting with life, bright fire and raging color – always exciting and never anything else but what it is.
Follow these easy steps my peeps, and ignore all those negative naysayers and plastic people afraid to break free. Embrace your own normal, live your passions, and you’ll find that the life you live will be nothing short of fabulous. No more average and ordinary for you – burn brightly and stay “normal.” What’s normal for you could be totally off-the-wall for me. And it doesn’t matter. It’s all good. Normal is only an illusion, so be true to you.
Stay motivated and caffeinated!😉☕