7 Billion Shades of Normal


You are not normal!

Her words echoed in my head. Not because it bothered me. On the contrary, I was glad I wasn’t considered the norm and I found it quite interesting that she thinks I’m an outlier. However, here’s what I don’t quite comprehend. How does the fact that someone refuses to doesn’t think or act like you/conform to your standards make them abnormal? What exactly is ‘normal’ anyway? Who decides how we are supposed to act and how we are supposed to feel? What about our individual uniqueness and circumstances that cause us to be a certain way?

Define Normal

I personally do not believe that the world is dichromic therefore I struggle to understand people who see the world in black and white. And so to blend in, they are forced to disguise their true colours by painting themselves in phony armours. Thick coats of ‘normal’. I am of the opinion that there is no clear cut and one cannot be either/or. I believe that people are like a vast spectrum of colours with distinct traits and if that’s the case, how does the fact that I’m an entirely different colour from you make me abnormal? Can you rightly say that because blue is your thing, yellow is an abnormal colour?

A lot of people have been through awkward phases in their lives where fitting in was their utmost priority. I remember being the kid at school who didn’t want to stand out or appear different in any way at all. So I made uncomfortable attempts to join the band wagon. I didn’t want to be the misunderstood one or the one people thought to have psychotic problems. Then I got older and realised how fitting in altered my identity and how much time I had wasted as a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. I was no longer willing to miss out on the things I found thrilling or sacrifice who I was for the sake of acceptance. I’m not sure what the purpose of life is but I doubt it’s to be moulded or controlled by others that you shy away from your uniqueness.

I tried to be normal

Normal is subjective and we are all abnormal and beautiful people in our own right. Each and every one of us. When you realise this only then will you have the courage to stand in the storm and let the wind blow away your mask and the rain wash away the phony paint you have so carefully camouflaged yourself in. Then your true colours will shine for all to see. And rather than hide, rather than pretend to be who you are not for the sake of acceptance, you will stand tall and you will accept yourself and others will too. You know why? Because everyone likes beautiful things and there is nothing more beautiful than a person who stands proudly and firmly in his/her own truth.

perfectly normal life

So, here are a few of my so-called abnormalities (the subtle ones though, just so I don’t scare you away):

  • I don’t like phone calls. I detest having to put my phone to my ear especially for longer than I ought to. I don’t mind being on my BlackBerry and typing all day long but phone calls? Definitely not for me.
  • I either don’t get along well with women or I’m not very good at sustaining relationships with them. I’m not sure which is right. I don’t understand it myself and I wonder how that came to be especially since I spent 6 years of my life in an all-girl boarding school. But yeah… that’s just how my cookie crumbles and for this reason about 95% of my friends are male.
  • I’m a comfort dresser. I don’t understand why fashion should cause pain and I won’t wear anything that makes me uncomfortable. For the same reason, I don’t wear high heeled shoes. I don’t feel the need to walk on tiptoes everywhere I go. Well except it is absolutely necessary or I’m in an utterly good mood.
  • I love shoes. I like to buy lots of shoes, most of them I never get to wear and some of them I know (even at the point of purchase) that I will never wear. Then again, it’s way easier and less heart-breaking to shop for shoes than for clothes, isn’t it? Have you ever gone shoe shopping and realised that you’ve gone up 2 shoe sizes? My point exactly! With shoes you can’t be a 5 today and a 7 in 2 months. So yeah, I love shoes 🙂
  • I’m highly sensitive. I cry easily. I feel everything. If you’re hurting, I may be able to feel your pain physically. While it can be draining sometimes, I like that I’m that in touch with my sensitive side.
  • I don’t like numbers. I couldn’t tell you my own phone number off the top of my head. Whenever I get to a number when reading a book, be it a formula, date, whatever, I automatically skip to the next word. Amazingly, I’m not horrible at maths but that’s another thing I can’t explain.

There you go! We all have unusual characteristics. None of us came with a user manual. We are all finding our paths in this world and our individual definitions of ‘normal’ is a function of our society, upbringing, culture, race, gender, age, life experiences, level of exposure, lifestyles, status and more. I mean, can an you logically expect over  seven billion people in the world to conform to a specified standard? What’s normal to me may not necessarily be normal to you. We are all freaks of nature, abnormal in one way or another. And to me, that’s completely normal.

types of normal

What’s your story? Are you normal? Please leave your comment below.


30 responses »

  1. interesting and thought provoking shekesky (wink) and while i agree with a lotta stuff on here, i gotta say without some form of normalcy the world wld be near chaotic or disorganized. lets say ppl drive on the side of the road they want (lagos) or in the army it is sew your own style of uniform. or if reports were presented with multicolor text and fonts and the list cld go on and on and on. So it has to be sed even though we all got to be us we gotta conform to some extent as well. #JustMaOpinion

  2. Aahaahahahahahaha! Nice 1 teejay. I m definitely not calling u on the fone anymore! Seriously tho, no one has the monopoly to decide what’s normal, and what’s not… We all should just go with the flow, and do what ultimately makes us happy in the end. Great stuff teejay. Keep it coming girl

  3. For me. Am normal becus I have learnt to be me and I believe strongly on individual diffrences.we all have diffrent taste, and unique character so for u to be normal is to be urself and do wat makes u happy. For me
    1- I love calculations and few theories to back it up
    2- I hate much written works without figures

    3- I love any subject or topic dat goes with physical sciences aside from dis every other one are abssract to me but it amazes me how I have so much knowledge in politics, maybe am a good listener.
    4- I hate making people to feel bad epecially in d aspect of religion I dnt like to condem wat u believe in.
    Am very emotional but find it very difficult to cry. When am hurt. My heart bleeds and I findmyelf taking alcohol to supress my mood.
    5- am kind of always happy in any situation, I always look forward to a possibility from every situations. And am always very inquisitive I dnt like suspence it kills me and leaves me hanging.
    We all are unique and dats wat makes us who we are so learn to be the real u and then u will know the true person u are!

    • Way to go girl! I think its great that you are in touch with your true self. Not everyone has that privilege. I wish I could be as positive as you though. Nice one. But please go easy on the alcohol, you’d think getting wasted will make you feel better but it really doesn’t. You wake up sick to your stomach, with a massive headache, feeling worse than you were the day before and guess what? The pain will probably still be as fresh and alive in your heart as it was before you went on a drinking spree. I’m not an expert in these things but I realized lately that getting busy and actively indulging in the things you enjoy is a more creative way to deal with such emotions. Swimming and jogging have become my stress busters lately. Perhaps you should try that next time 🙂

  4. I kind of agree with you one man’s normality could easily pass for another man’s abnormality. I am a guy who doesn’t believe in long term courtships before marriage that for me would be abnormal but I know there are many people who might think differently that’s just how it is different strokes for different folks.

  5. Lol… Cute and funny post. My sisters hates heels too.. She is happy when I don’t see her going out cos most times I send her back cos she ruins nice outfit…lol..in my opinion. But I feel you tho…being fashionable with heels can be over rated some times.. Pls don’t tell me with all your love for shoes you don’t have heels….

    My abnormality.. I cry for everything… To sensitive. I missed my turn at the passport office and I had to wait for another hour……. I started crying… I fact I give up on myself in this aspect… Lol

    • I’m with you on the fact that flats ruin some outfits. I have a bunch of heels and I wear them when I want to feel chic ( which isn’t very often by the way). However I wear my flats more often cos I just love being comfortable and not having to worry about counting my steps when I walk cos I might trip… Just like I tripped and fell at the entrance of my company’s Christmas party 😦

      Oh… and I’m with you in the cry baby club. I cry about everything too. In fact sometimes, I think to myself, “Hey, I haven’t cried in a while” and then I start crying. weirdo.com 🙂

  6. Interesting piece.We keep struggling everyday to present the best of “normal” in the world’s dictionary.For me,anything normal is abnormal to me.I am a weirdo like my friends will say.What is it with normal self?Highly over-rated.

  7. You really don’t ve to conform to ones standard to be seen as normal.buh I think for our culture Dere r some things refered to as ‘common sense’ when u lack this common sense you would be labeled abnormal

    • Yeah. You are right. However I don’t think that common sense thing applies all the time though. But yeah, I get your point. Still doesn’t change the fact that my red shoes are still with you o 🙂

  8. True talk,some ladies go out of their way to inflict pain upon demselves,all in d name of fashion or rather wats in vogue. Gosh! Call me bush buh I never feel comfy wearing a tube and I like Serriously I can’t be caught in it. Does dat mean m abnormal???????

  9. Nice piece once again. You always find a way to bring us back to reality. If we all formed the habit of seeing people from their own frame of reference, the issues of abnormality would hardly come up. Understanding this is key.

    Well, people think im abnormal when i say i can watch a movie over and over again and not get tired. I’ll rather watch the movie of a book that read the book itself. I would spend the whole time on a 10hr flight watching movies… *but i dont watch movies at work oooooo*

    I kinda worry alot too, but i believe worriers can be meticulous. So i’ll emphasize the positives of the trait than the negatives.

    • Lmao… Now this is exactly what I’m trying to say. I don’t understand people like you who can watch a movie more than once. I just can’t get myself to sit through a movie I’ve seen before. But of course that doesn’t make you abnormal. It just means your preferences are different. And as for worrying, I’m a senior member of that club too. There’s always something for me to worry about and if there isn’t, I’ll make up one. So you’re not alone. I gatchu 🙂

  10. Nice one. You have a way of bringing us back to reality. We all need to see things from each person’s frame of reference. That way, we will understanding while people act one way or the other. Understanding this is key.

    Abnormalities…. i can watch a movie over and over again. I’ll rather watch the movie of a book than read the book itself. They only place i dont watch movies is at work.

    Im also a worrier, but i’ll think of the positives of this trait than the negatives. I believe worriers are generally more meticulous.

  11. I am most def not normal, or your regular ‘parson’ and I sure feel you. I don’t think it’s abnormal to be ‘not normal’. I def dont like following the crowd. What guides me in all that i do is this cliche – ‘Anyone who follows fashion will go out of vogue’ . It’s important you define yourself and be that person you are proud of, as long as you are not breaking any natural or supernatural laws, principles and guidelines.

    • Good one, girl!
      When you place a diamond stone under the sun, different array of beautiful colours are dispersed. God is are diamond and we are the different shades of colours that shine from Him, so we cannot afford to conform to another. But, let’s remember that who ‘we are’ can be shaped by our upbringing and environment which may not necessarily have been the right teaching for us so there will be need to evaluate and CHANGE sometimes. Note words like ‘change’, ‘adapt’, ‘compromise’, transform etc. They have their place in making us reach our true potential of affecting our world (interdependence), you can’t live only for yourself.

  12. I think the first issue is that a lot of people see being abnormal as a negative thing. Well it isn’t. It’s just being abnormal. Nothing wrong with that if it’s harmless. And there IS such a thing as abnormal. It means “not normal” and if there is a normal, then an abnormal is only but an absence of it.

    Normal doesn’t define exacts but a trend. When there’s a variation to that trend, it’s abnormal. Imagine you cracked a joke to find someone giggling like a hyena as opposed what you’re accustomed to hearing as human laughter. It’s probably just the way he/she laughs and there’s probably nothing wrong with that, but guess what? it’s abnormal.

    Now, if you told that same person you lost a relative and the person started laughing. Maybe his/her brain associates empathy with laughter and there’s nothing short of unaffordable therapy, surgery or both that can be done. It’s not the persons fault, but it’s abnormal.

    When a particular individual has a lot of behavioural patterns that abnormal (deviant from normal distribution) one could inductively suggest the person to be abnormal. Abnormal does not necessarily mean wrong and normal does not necessarily mean right.

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