There was a quote that I ran across recently that got me thinking about my life and whether or not I fit into what people call the “Normal” category.
“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for in order to get to the job you need, to pay for the clothes, and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.” –Ellen Goodman
One of my favorite artists Salvador Dali once noted “I am not strange – I am just not normal.” and boom! I was inspired to live my life like a deranged curly mustache man.
Normality is defined in the dictionary as: “the condition of being normal; the state of being usual, typical, or expected”… that sounds so freakin boring, it makes want to hurl a pig into the sky.
That being said, I spent a long time trying desperately to be normal. I even succeeded in being everything that you are supposed to be, and I lived a life very similar to what Ellen Goodman describes above.
But alas, that felt like someone was stepping on my throat while I slowly sunk into a vat of molasses.
Listen, I’m not against having a job, a house, or clothes, I don’t think those are the things that make you normal… They’re just things that you do and have.
But I do think that the way in which you interact with those things, and the way you live life is what makes you feel normal.
In my opinion, there is nothing usual, typical, or expected of you, other than the things you decided are true about your personality, or the type of person you are. We live in a society where we are surrounded by labels. People desperately looking for, tagging, and categorizing similarities within one another. It allows people to have a sense of understanding if they can fit you into a category.
Yesterday, a friend of mine made a statement saying that her friend and I had very similar taste in movies, because he likes super hero movies and supernatural.
I thought to myself, “I love all kinds of movies, not just super hero and supernatural movies, that’s a weird thing to say.”
Let’s get something straight, I love movies, I love the creative side of movies, screenwriting, story telling, acting, direction, location, cinematography, the whole nine yards. I’m the guy that watches the behind the scenes, and will watch the movie in it’s entirety with the director talking over all the scenes. I own books about the subject, that’s how much of a movie nerd I am.
At first, I was a little offended by this very simple comment, but it was based on an observation of what my friend has experienced about me. She’s experienced superhero movies and supernatural. She hasn’t experienced me, she doesn’t know who I was before I met her and the things that shape my thinking.
Honestly, she’s a sweetheart and didn’t mean anything by it, it’s just something she does every once in a while. Because really, who cares, it’s just movies.
The truth is that we can barely figure out who we are and what we like, let alone have someone else have you all figured out, and know what you truly like.
On a side note: I get to meet Klee every day and fall in love with her all over again, because deep down I know that she’s not the same person I met yesterday, and I get excited about meeting who she is today. No matter how similar she might be to yesterday, there is always something new.
The thing is that “Normal” is trying to have everything and everyone categorized in similar categories, and fitting into a category yourself.
But you can’t fit into a category, you are ever changing and evolving, you are becoming things, and letting go of things. You are not the same person you were last week, nor will you be the same person you are now in a year. We are constantly in flux.
In my opinion, normal, is not a natural state of being human. I refuse to be “normal” because it is torturous to me to deny my quirks and eccentricities to fit into a world that isn’t even sure what normal is anyway. I refuse to be labeled because as a human being I am too dynamic and ever changing.
Over the past few years, I have learned to be proud of who I am and to not let anyone – no matter who they are, try to manipulate, change, or label me, because I am not who “they think I should be” or “they think they have me pegged.” Yeah, life is too short to worry about all that jazz anyhow.
Go forth and be who you are – most of all revel in your uniqueness and be proud of your qualities that make you innately you.