Musings

Is there such thing as ‘normal’?

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(Yes, this is me. With a towel on my head. And probably wet hair. And no make up on. And  in pyjamas. And the weirdest grin ever. Enjoy.)

Back to the topic.

What can be normal?

Would you say ‘anything and everything’? I guess that’s the most instinctive, intuitive answer.

Blood pressure can be normal, I guess. Apparently, it’s meant to be 120/80, or something like that. Yet, my 100/60 has been classed as normal, too. Even though it was making me drowsy, it was still ‘normal’.

So we can’t even assess blood pressure in terms of ‘normalcy’…

What does ‘normal’ even mean? Something that’s average? Typical? Not doing anything out of the ordinary? Within a ‘healthy’ norm? Conforms to our world view? Commonly found in our culture/country?

Ok, this was a massive introduction that I’m not even sure was on topic…

I don’t want to talk about blood pressure today. Or even health in any wider context. I want to talk about people. Because people can totally be normal, can’t they? If I asked you right now to name 5 people you know that are ‘normal’, you’d probably do it without thinking twice: “My neighbour from two floors above me, this cute girl I went to school with, that guy from my tutorial group at uni, my Maths teacher from primary school…” the list would probably go on like this.

Ok, but if I asked you which one of your friends is normal, I’d be  more likely to hear “oh, my friends? No, they’re all total crazy weirdos. But that’s why I love them.”

Because isn’t it that we usually describe as normal people that we… don’t actually really know? People we meet at work or school, with whom we exchange a few words once in a while about the weather, upcoming elections or the lack of soy milk in the work fridge. We feel that we know them because we see them often, but we’ve never sat down with them to have a proper conversation.

I have a friend. I thought she was ‘normal’ when I met her. But, after some evening lecture, we started talking on our way back to the halls, and it turned out that she makes her own chocolate. But not melts bars and decorates them with almond shavings. She makes it form cocoa beans. I mean, how unbelievably cool is that?

Yet, for some reason I don’t quite understand, we aspire to normalcy. “We are a normal family” I hear. Or “I’m totally boring, nothing special about me”. Why, oh why, do we want to be like everyone else? If you started talking to that “nothing special about me” human, you’d soon find out that he or she breeds parrots. Or cooks a delicious bolognese, better than the one you’ve had in Italy. Or is really passionate about some author you’ve never heard about, but can speak about them so enthusiastically the first thing you do when you get home is order their book from Amazon (and fall in love with it immediately). Would you class any of these things as ‘normal’?

Every person or every family could probably make, even a very short, list of things that they can do, or like, that most people can’t do or don’t like/know about. Don’t say you’re ‘normal’. No one really is. We are all different, with different problems and achievements, ups and downs, hobbies, passions, loves, backgrounds. That’s what makes us real people. Aspire to be unique, not ‘normal’.

Please, now take 5 minutes to write a short list of things that make you even a little bit different from most people you know. Stick it to a bulletin board or to the wall, so it can remind you that you’re unique and special. There is no one else in the world that’s the same as you. You’re not ‘normal’. And that’s the most amazing thing.

 

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