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Why We Need to Create Our Own “Normal”

Smiling

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” ~Maya Angelou

I had a glimpse of normal when I was a child. It looked like bright splodges of paint on pieces of cheap paper, animals made from bits of wool and odd buttons, and many, many books. Normal was taking exceedingly long suburban walks while pestering my father to supply me with mental arithmetic, to sate an insatiable love of numbers.

The most normal place in the world, my sanctuary, was the library. I loved the plastic covered window seats that would stick to the back of my legs on hot summer days, and the smell of dusty old books that was as healing as a salty-sea breeze.

The library was my portal to different worlds and otherworldly wisdom.

As a small child, I quickly outgrew the children’s section and I would spend hours surrounded by oversized books or lurking in the darkest, furthest corner of the library where my favorite books were kept. My normal choices, from which I very rarely deviated, were ancient mysteries and the paranormal.

My normal childhood revolved around messy artwork, numbers, and an obscure taste in books. And that is what made my heart sing with happiness and gave me peace, contentment, and always food for thought.

Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, I lost my normal.

I listened to teachers who said girls were not naturally gifted in mathematics. My peers let me know that reading was geeky unless, of course, the material included tips on kissing boys or growing boobs (or both). I told myself that creative expression was just a hobby and wasn’t a viable career option.

By the time I was ready to start making my own way in life, I was normal. Not my own normal, but the normal that seamlessly integrated into the world around me without raising any eyebrows or rocking any boats.

I spent four years at college studying a subject that held no passion for me, I took a sensible job that gave me no sense of fulfilment, and I married my run-of-the-mill boyfriend. I had a mortgage, a car, kids, and a profound unhappiness that bubbled to the surface from time to time as pockets of depression.

It took a personal mini earthquake to shake me loose from the normal life I’d created so I could reconnect with my authentic self. My world fell down around me, and almost overnight the normal world I lived in ceased to exist.

Life sends wake up calls from time to time. Sometimes they’re ear-splittingly loud and force you to look at how you’ve been living.

I had to make a decision. I could rebuild my life as before, or I could try a new normal.

Step by step, I laid my own foundations and let my spirit design my life. I ignored advice that came packaged in “you should” or “you can’t” and I found my own way back to happiness. Being my own kind of normal is how I find peace and purpose.

Normal is an illusion

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.

Every one of us is exquisitely unique and normal all at the same time. Eccentricities, quirks, and personal passions bring diversity and color to a world that often appears drab and full of sameness.

If you try to fit into society’s definition of normal, you deny the world a chance to see your great spirit, and probably bring down a bucket load of unhappiness onto yourself too.

It takes courage to say no to general normalcy. There’s less risk just to go with the flow but there’s also far fewer rewards. It’s a scary, brave, bold, and liberating move to show the world your authentic, normal self.

These days my normal is self-employment in an area I’m overflowing with passion for, spirituality that fits me, and a relationship with a man whose normal is pretty similar to mine. There are still many, many books but far less mental arithmetic.

3 Simple Steps to Create Your Own Normal

1. Love and accept yourself in all your amazing glory.

2. Love people you want to love.

3. Do what you love.

Follow these simple steps and ignore all the naysayers, doubters, and negativists. Embrace your own normal and you’ll find you live a life far from average and ordinary.

Photo by kris krug

About Lyn Thurman

Lyn Thurman is an author, inner-goddess unleasher, coach, and founder of the Soul Path Tribe.  She believes in magic and sparkles and the amazing possibilities of you.  Find her at www.LynThurman.com.

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  • How profound and how simple! All the 3-steps are essentially based on Love. Thanks for sharing.

  • Mahesh Sahu

    Thanks kris for sharing this wonderful article. You have articulated the self love and persuation of hoby in lovely and creative way. However, Being english my second language, i have to open my dictionary many times. But it was worth to understand each and every word and grasp the message.

  • Tiela Garnett

    Wonderful article, Lyn! I especially liked Step by step, I laid my own foundations and let my spirit design my life. I ignored advice that came packaged in “you should” or “you can’t” and I found my own way back to happiness.

  • talktherapybiz

    Amazing how we complicate our lives in the pursuit or the denial of “normal.” I agree that you can never go wrong with love–of life, people and situations. And no one but you can dictate what love means to your heart.

    When I was a kid and punished for doing something wrong, I was never more content than to go to my room with a book and a furry animal tucked under my arm.

    Yes. Normal is an illusion.

  • sandra

    I have an issue with normal.
    So many people seem to think that being or acting ‘normal’ implies holding
    a single belief, exhibiting a single behaviour, subscribing to a single idea,
    and that anyone who doesn’t act that way, think that thing or subscribe to
    certain ideas is either abnormal or lying.
    So the problem with declaring anything as normal, for a lot of people, is
    that you instantly declare everything else as abnormal.

    Of course there is a benefit for those who can say I am
    normal, for it makes it more difficult for others to challenge their behaviour,
    even when it hurts. For example, with a partner who cheats, shows no remorse or
    regret and who says ‘everyone does this’. The other party who says that they
    are hurt is deemed abnormal and it makes it can make it harder for them to
    assert themselves or makes them feel less confident in leaving the partner who
    has betrayed them.

    There seems to be little appreciation for the complexity of
    the human being, that we are all on not just one spectrum in our behaviour and
    beliefs, but lots of them all crossing each other and interconnecting. We seem to ignore the power of our brains to
    interpret everything we feel and do and in our bid to make sense of others
    around us we make sweeping generalisations about what a person is actually
    thinking or feeling. We are so much more
    than the sum of our parts, our biological ancestry and our biological responses,
    our DNA and externally observable actions.
    That’s normal.

  • Olivia

    Thank you for sharing.

    When I dropped out of nursing school to pursue my passion of photography, my mother wouldn’t speak to me for days. I figured out I’d rather be a starving artist who’s happy than a financially comfortable person living a life I didn’t love.

    It was liberating. And today… seven years later- I have my own local business that I’m struggling to contain it’s growth.

    My niece is hugely into creating and art… and I’m a bit worried she’s going to be pushed down this path of “normalcy” too.

    http://www.themoreiseethelessiknow.com

  • LynThurman

    I’m so pleased you followed your passion and that your mum only wouldn’t speak to you for days (it’s been 10 years for me). I hope your niece find her own normal too 🙂

  • LynThurman

    Thank you for your lovely comment, Tiela and I’m so happy you let spirit design your life too 🙂 x

  • LynThurman

    Thank you Mahesh (and sorry for making you open the dictionary so many times!). Lyn x

  • LynThurman

    Thank you, Braja 🙂

  • LynThurman

    I totally get the book and furry animal reference! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Mikol

    Very glad I came upon this piece, and it couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time. I’m about to embark on my own journey, giving up the security and financial stability of a job I find uninspiring. I was talked out of taking this leap a year ago but I’m standing firm with charting my own path this year.

    I’m now just one short week away from the end of a decade long career and it feels so liberating. I’m heading off to the unknown but this is the first I feel as though I’m not living someone else’s ‘normal’.

    It’s amazing how easily we’re willing to let our true selves go for the sake of conformity. It’s time to take it back. Thanks again for sharing.

  • msbrightside

    As I am struggling to define my own normality I see my family is not supporting me. They actually represent this society view, that you get in to a company and work harder and harder to earn lots of money to feed your egoist luxury needs, get married with a nice guy without having many relationships in past, have a baby etc. İn years as they tried to scratch this “ideal child figure” to my brain i always found myself bringing out an agrressive reaction.
    My aunt which our family members mostly say we are very alike, has been into a couple of bad marriages, refused to work as a textile engineer after college and in long hard years became a pilates teacher. She do not earn enough money to live very comfortably yet she is exhausted from all this work but is always surrounded by people very positive, giving and caring. She is enjoying what she does but my family they say that she is just showibg like that but in reality she is unhappy. Today my mum said that you will be like your aunt . Even though I do not see smt wrong with being like my aunt in many ways, I felt bad that if I also find(hopefully) and follow my own path they won’t be happy with that. And since I’m their only child that means that I will be letting them down which will make me feel quilty maybe a life time(already started though) so now this really bothers me and maybe will discourage me in years to come. You said your mum did not talk to you for 10years in the comments how did you overcome that?
    İts been a long comment hope it didnt bothered you much! Thanks for bringing up this “normal” issue as everybody today is crawling into a single normal these days.

  • growthguided

    Great Post

    Normal is a myth! It’s Something we like to gauge our worth from!

    Do I look good enough to be a part of?
    Am I do something people might look down on me for?
    Did I say or act in the correct way?

  • Oh so true! Normal, it’s just a word and an idea that we accidentally buy into, which then forms who we think we should be and what we should do in life. Took me a long time to figure that one out. Expectations… so icky!
    My husband and I love to support anyone we cross paths with in life to reconsider what ‘normal’ is and to embrace the awesomeness of who we all are as unique individuals. “Be who you are. Do what you love” – a recipe for happiness.
    Thanks for a great post!
    Bernadette 🙂

  • Whitney

    Thank you for this! I am 3 years removed from my own personal earthquake, and grateful for the chance to keep shaping my own normal. 🙂

  • Thanks for the post. Great reminder that often times it takes a significant event to shake up our lives and make us re-balance into a new sense of normal. I like the idea that we define our own set of normal and then build to create that.

    Many times we settle into what is, instead of what could be. By using your reasoning we can create and live what we desire.

    Thanks.

  • A

    second step has a typo.

  • Clare

    What a beautiful article. Thank you for sharing. It can be tough at times to decide what you think you should do and what your gut is telling you to do. This is a refreshing reminder to all of us to always follow your instinct.

  • lv2terp

    Beautiful message!!! 🙂

  • ray

    Nice post. I just want to point out that when you say “It takes courage to say no to general normalcy” – technically some people might authentically be what society would refer to as normal anyway

  • Divya Natarajan

    Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful article Lyn.
    It gives us an insight to find the true meaning of happiness.
    God bless you!

  • pjglick

    I am going on almost 20 years of living other peoples normal. I have a stable job, a great wife and 2 wonderful kids. I suffer with the feeling that my chance to find my normal has past. I don’t want to hurt them or put their lives in an upheaval but when do I found my normal.

  • Isn’t it just mindblowing when we take the time to be ourselves, be silly, and do what feels RIGHT inside? New opportunities just…blossom. Thanks for this post!

  • Jessica Sweet

    Thanks for this post! I work with people who followed the “normal” path, to school, to work, and straight into jobs that sucked their souls. . . Once they have the courage to find out what feels right for them, whether its quitting a six figure job and doing something they actually want to do, or starting their own business, they finally start to feel like things are normal for them for the first time!