Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Defying "Normal"

I've been blog slacking - again. I'll be better, I promise. It's been a few really hectic weeks. But, I don't believe in the "I don't have time" excuse, so here we go! This blog is a bit off of my usual topics, but it fits in it's own sort of way.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned before, but I keep pieces of paper by my desk where I write down various musings, song lyrics that I love, funny or poignant pieces of conversations with friends, thoughts that pop into my head, etc. Partly, this helps to get a bunch of the random stuff that normally floats around in my brain out. Partly, it gives me something to look at when I need inspiration, motivation, or just a laugh. I've filled multiple pieces of paper with these notes (all still on my desk) and I've noticed a theme. At least once on each piece of paper, there's something akin to "normal is boring."

The fact that this sentiment is all over my notes tells me something - I really, truly believe that normal is, in fact, boring. Now, one could argue that nobody's normal - that everyone is their own unique person - and they'd probably be correct, scientifically and even psychologically speaking. By normal, I guess I'm referring to the status quo, the traditional way of living and thinking, the fear of being off-beat. Clearly, by now, anyone that reads even one of my blogs can see that I have no fear of being different or off-beat. In fact, I kind of enjoy it. Don't get me wrong, I do not enjoy that I have cyclothymia - but I have, through coming to terms with it, realized that I'm perfectly ok with not being like everyone else.  I've never really had a "traditional" kind of job, and my chosen career certainly isn't run of the mill, so I guess I always realized that I wasn't like everyone else in some ways. Recently, my decision to tell my story to the world (aka my subscribers and anyone else who randomly reads my blog),  I've not only started to become happier with my life in respects to my condition, but it seems to have opened the flood gates, so to speak, to discovering the more cafe-free, silly, unabashed side of me that I always knew was there but could never quite bring to the surface. I think that by trying to constantly hide my condition, I was forming a blockade to other parts of my personality. I would guess that probably this isn't uncommon for people who are trying to "hold it together", keep things private for fear of others' judgement, etc.

I'm loving this new internal freedom. I am ridiculously lucky that the people I surround myself with support me in my new-found discovery. They understand it's part of the true me, and they can either laugh along with me when I walk down the hotel hallway dancing to a song that I'm singing in my head, or they can stare at me like I'm crazy. Generally, they choose the former. Sometimes, they even join in. I love them for it. (For the record, I actually do this, sometimes not even realizing it until someone points it out).

So for anyone that gets frustrated with not being different, that doesn't understand why they don't think or act the way others do, or that's just afraid to let their truest selves show through - don't be. Obviously, there's a time and place for everything (I try not to do the singing/dancing bit in board of directors meetings), but honestly, assuming it's appropriate, just be you. It's an incredible feeling. Start with something small and silly. It'll take some courage, but once you start it gets increasingly easier. And to all of my friends and family who embrace my slight craziness and my love of the not-normal, thank you. You're wonderful people and I couldn't be making this progress without you. 

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