Six

Standard

Never Be Normal

What is normal, anyway?

Starting around seventh grade, the pressure to be “normal” becomes a harsh and heavy reality. No one’s entirely sure what the standard of true normalcy is, but boy, if you deviate from that standard for even a moment, you’re toast.

Delightfully catch-22, isn’t it?

Yes, sir, the powers that be among your set of peers will be doing just that—peering over your shoulder while you draw monsters in your history notes; peering at your outfits to see if they measure up; peering at your grades to see if they’re too high or too low; peering at what you choose to laugh at or not laugh at. From seventh grade onward, you will be judged. By everyone. And if the masses deem you “abnormal,” prepare for immediate ostracization.

The wonderful thing is, that once you are kicked out of the spheres of possible popularity (and you will be, if you choose to be yourself), you will find the Others. Others who like the same books that you do. Others that still think old movies are cool. Others who whistle loudly as they walk down the sidewalk. Others who understand, because they think the same thing. Others who may look at you a little oddly when you laugh really loudly at something that wasn’t actually funny, but they like you anyway. Others who are “not normal.” Suddenly those who accused you of non-normalcy are the weird ones.

And then you realize that there never is, nor will there ever be, a “normal” person. Because we’re all different. Yes, several of us overlap in terms of tastes and appearance, and those who do tend to flock together, but we’re all different. There are jocks who love basketball and other jocks who like baseball. There are geeks who prefer The Original Series to The Next Generation. If there were some sort of mold that we all fit into, we’d be a planet of automatons. The chaos reigning on planet Earth is a testament to the fact that we most definitely are not.

I’m an individual. And so are you.

I figured out a long time ago that if I tried to fit in, I’d be miserable. I’d be miserable because God didn’t make me to be just like anybody else. I cannot be melted down and poured into a mold—anybody’s mold—because my shape, my mind, my heart, and my path are all unique. That’s the way God made the world. A billion different people on a billion different, interconnecting paths.

I am me. I cannot be normal. That is the way it is. The minute I am accused of being “normal,” I will halt everything and reevaluate my life. If I cease to be odd, than I have ceased to be myself.

And that just won’t do.

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