“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