Friday, January 14, 2011

About being normal

A friend once told me that one day she had suddenly had this mental "flip", thinking: "Oh my god, I'm just so normal! I have a normal name (Hi Judy), I live in a normal town, and so on!"

Another friend I've know since childhood will say: "that's not normal!", and be meaning that therefore it's not desirable. This is just obvious to her.

Whereas my mother quoted a learned man she's met for saying: "if Normal is like most people are, I'll just as well leave it, thanks very much." My mom was quite fond of the thought of being bohemian. (Being outside the normal rules and mores of general society.) She was not, but she liked the idea.

Me, I am abnormal in most ways you can be, I never had to work to stick out. In some ways I treasured this, having the Need To Be Unique, I guess, the need to be Special. But it also makes daily connections with people harder on the other hand because eccentricity is offensive to some people for some reason.
In any case, this desire seems to be lessening a lot, I don't really care anymore if I'm noticed or remembered much. I still have a drive to share ideas though.

What do you think? Do you prefer to be normal or be exceptional?


Colin Hunt said...

Just don't try too hard.

Miserere said...

Not being an 8 foot tall Dane, I don't know what you're talking about :-)

Jes said...

Same here, I've always been pretty abnormal, and always been pretty proud of it. I've always thought of normal as a synonym for boring. In fact, if my life and everything I do in it had one common theme, it'd be that it's okay to be a little weird.

Ray said...

Being normal isn't everything it's cracked up to be.

I asked a shrink once about why it is that when we're really 'up there' we get a lot of flak from the herd.
He replied that most people are depressed most of the time, so if you aren't, then you really stick out in a crowd. Especially if you're into one of those highs where you feel like you can almost fly.
The rest of the world seems to be very apprehensive about you if you're obviously enjoying life a lot more than they are. They don't give a damn though when you come crashing down again. That just returns you to 'normal'.

Michael Burton said...

I think a normal person is like the average family with 2.3 children -- there ain't no such animal.

Everybody's off-center to some degree, in some ways, thank goodness! It would be an awfully boring world if we weren't.

That means there will always be somebody prepared to disapprove of anything we say or do. In general, they're allowed to criticize, and we're allowed to carry on without their approval.

I want to consider the criticism I receive. Sometimes it may convince me to change my behavior. Sometimes it won't. Maybe that's what we really mean by "normal" in a more clinical sense: that we acknowledge the world outside ourselves, and respond appropriately to it.

We shouldn't try too hard to be normal, but we shouldn't be striving to be abnormal, either. Just be yourself.

eolake said...

Thank you, guys!

Indeed so. One of the realizations which have helped me has been: if it is *very, very* hard to do, it is probably not the right thing to do.