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