There has never been a time when I’ve felt anything close to normal.
(I still reckon I could make it as a professional dancer, I’m pretty sure aliens have to exist, I love being blissfully unaware of world affairs and I hate it when my fruit salad and ice cream touch each other in the bowl).
And yes, ‘normal’ is such a ridiculous term to use when attempting to describe the multifaceted, shape shifting, complex creatures we all are.
I’m pretty sure if there was the standard, usual, typical, expected human being, I wouldn’t be able to distinguish it from the rest of us.
I get a kick out of finding those dry leaves that make the textured crumple when crushed in my hand, I’m a 38 year old Mum who enjoys listening to a bit of Bieber, I’m ever so slightly terrified of time ticking by and I nearly always face a wave of anxiety on a Sunday night (although I’m pretty sure I’m not alone here).
Like most of us though, I try to toe the line and play the game of being normal in order to ‘get by’ in my professional, social and even family spheres.
Dame Judi Dench I certainly am not, but I reckon on any given day, the need to act out a variety of roles to disguise my abnormalities, means I’m pushing those boundaries, we all want so desperately to be free of.
Philosophical cool guy Alain de Botton once said “all of us are just holding it together in various ways – and that’s ok”.
Amen to that! When I read this I felt ever so slightly more normal, comforted by the knowledge that we all share this in common.
There are always fears, insecurities and the constant burden of ‘being accepted’ for who we are, but how often are we truly ‘being’ ourselves? How often do these nuisances interfere with our opportunities for release?
More than I care to recall.
Plus, in an age where social media offers us up often only the ‘good bits’ of our lives, it’s easy to forget our collective awkwardness, insecurities, abnormalities that make us the unique individuals we are.
I’d like to say that I’ve tried letting go, just being me but it certainly doesn’t come easy or often.
I’ve been told meditation (or was it medication?) can help and wine works in short bursts on occasion, but both are only band aid solutions.
So in an effort to cultivate a better appreciation of me with all my abnormalities, I’ve decided to latch onto Mr de Botton’s quote, recite it (in my head of course) at all those awkward moments and sanction space and time to just let it all hang out in a ‘safe’ environment.
It’s that Sunday night I was talking about earlier. There’s work to prepare for Monday, lunches to make and that figure of dread just slouched over my kitchen bench, like he’s got nothing better to do.
I could pretend it doesn’t bother me and just get on with it, silent and steady, but that’s not normal (or me). Instead I want to run, screaming from the house and away from commitments and routines, but that’s definitely not practical.
Instead, I turn up the volume on my speaker, throw on my latest funky fav tune (‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’ by JT at the moment) and just let it all out……. Totally!
Now I feel ‘normal’ in all the right ways and surprise, surprise…..I’m happier for it (sigh).
I’ll take that little moment with me in my head, humming, as I pop off to work tomorrow, safe in the knowledge that we’re all just keeping it together too.