Tuesday, 15 June 2010

DEFINE: Normal

The topic of normal vs bonkers has arisen several times recently in various places. 

Example: my boss considers my sister to be "the craziest person he has ever met" and by contrast,  me "relatively normal". 

When asked the same question my 11 year old niece replied "I think Jess is MUCH crazier!" (emphasis on much). 

Oddly, I always considered us to be rather similar. So.. who is right.. and what is normal?!

In college, my lecturer once said to our class that your idea of what is normal is based on your personal experiences... books, movies, people you have been exposed to... and isn't necessarily "the norm". 
Apparently we start forming these notions of the norm and what society expects of us when we are children, and they follow us into adulthood, where inevitably we discover that they are all a facade. In this sense, most people's idea of what is normal is different, although the general outline maybe similar or even the same. 

I've searched my childhood memories to concoct the following list of what I grew up believing was the normal life plan: 

College - marriage- babies- 9.5 job - mainstream entertainment - gym memberships and diets- high street fashion- annual vacations - a house in the suburbs. 

Based on this (which I'm sure was largely to do with the environment in which I was temporarily raised, private education, siblings, etc etc) in comparison with my actual life, I couldn't be further from my childhood idea of normalcy! And it's not like it's a conscious decision... I don't TRY to defy my own notions of the norm... I just do what makes me feel comfortable and happy. 

Currently I have not one but two lives and ways of living (big red flag here!!): My LA life Vs my UK life. Neither of them fit in my previous notions of normal living for a 25 year old. . . but I guess both contain different elements of it. 

I could list all the facts about me that contradict normalcy... but I chose not to for fear of ending up knee deep in tear stained tissues! 

I'm happy. I'm Unique

I don't like normal.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

Pretty much, there is no such thing as normal, just people's expectations of normal. Even suburban middle class folks have their share of oddities, and probably the most "normal" people around keep their issues repressed and hidden. Anyway, you're perfect just as you are.