Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Where are all the Normal People?

Normal People Scare Me. Funny Goth Bad Boy T-shirt (Small, Pink) A couple of days ago I read a post that really got me thinking.  Fenny over at The Crazy Rambler wrote a post entitled Are you 'normal'?  I highly recommend taking the time to read it.  She made some great points.  Who wants to be normal anyway?  How boring!  Now I would like to expand on that a little and ask.  Who actually is normal?

This is actually a topic I have given quite a bit of thought to throughout my life.

Just to make things clear.  In case there is any doubt in your mind.  I am NOT normal.  Ok, now that we have that cleared up we can continue.

I hear the phrase all the time. "That's not normal."  It might be directed toward me or said to me about someone else.  I even have to admit to saying it myself.  Seriously though, what makes me (or anyone else) an expert on normalcy?

Even children can't be normal.  I have read countless articles regarding parents stressing out because something their child is doing or not doing doesn't seem normal.  After all they never did that as a child.  Other children that age are doing this.  What is wrong with my child?  I have read about parents seeking therapy for their newborns.  Just because they cry too much, not enough, are not making milestone x quickly enough, made milestone too fast, didn't score high enough on their APGAR (how will they ever pass their SATs) . . . you get the idea.  Calm down!  They will be fine.  They will not be normal.  Neither are you.

Why can't we learn to accept ourselves and others for who they are?  Life would be so much easier.  Think of all the time not spent stressing out about not being normal!  Instead we seem to spend extra time and energy pretending to be normal.  We are constantly playing a role.  Whatever society in general accepts as the norm . . . that's me!  I am just like that, just like you, just like everyone else.  Nice and boring.  Nothing to see here!

Now I am not saying that in self acceptance we should abandon all attempts at self improvement.  I think there is a line that can be crossed between being yourself and being self detrimental or harming others.  When your actions are actually having a negative impact on your own life or another person it's time for some intervention.  That could take the form of self help or may require outside intervention.

Let's learn to accept ourselves and then work to improve ourselves!

Another question I wonder about.  Can normal change?  Things that were once considered perfectly normal are now thought to be not normal and many things we consider the norm now were once thought to be abnormal.  Does this mean normal has changed?  If being normal can change, was it really normal to begin with?  Is it really normal now?

I know.  I am blowing your mind right now.

Now, I have some homework for you.  Make up a list of all the "normal" traits and then go out and find even one person who embodies all of them.  Find one person who is totally, completely, inarguably normal.  I mean after all if there really is such a thing as normal shouldn't there in fact be a large quantity of people who all fit the "normal" mold?  Shouldn't it in fact be the norm?

Anyone out there know a normal person?  Are you in fact normal?  Is it normal to consider yourself normal?