Attempting to be normal is exhausting. It really is. Frustrating too - because you never succeed. I've been there, I know.
I remember a conversation at Uni about haircuts. One lad's Mum had always cut his hair when he was a child, the other had always gone to a barber. Both found the other's 'normal' exceptionally
I didn't actively choose to do this - it just happened by default. Attempting to live the life I thought I should have rather than the life I actually had.
But now, years down the line, I know better.
I realised what I was doing. A 5 week hospital stay with staff regularly telling you off (in the nicest possible ways) for being ridiculous isn't exactly a subtle hint.
So now I don't try and be normal, I try and be differently normal.
By that I mean I am learning what my body likes and doesn't like. How it copes with things. And it turns out, I am really quite different from many people:
- I can't function in warm environments
- lying down on park benches is essential in order to enjoy a day out
- I can't eat chocolate
- I can sit with my limbs in extremely obscure positions
- I'm 31 and medically retired
- I run a business based on stickmen - but only when I feel up to it.
But despite all my differences, I am also totally and utterly normal:
I go through life using the skills that I have, learning new ones where I can, and getting assistance where I need it. I bring my uniqueness, the same as everyone else does, and it makes for a richer life. Sometimes I give, sometimes I receive. [Note to self: never underestimate the power of giving a smile or positive comment. They are some of the most influential things you have experienced, so never despise your ability to give the same to others.]
Now I don't make my lifestyle on my personal delusion of "other people's normal" I live it by my normal, basing decisions on my capabilities. And in doing so I didn't get the fallout of people thinking I'm weird that I expected.
Instead I found a differently normal, rich and fulfilling life.