1. Conforming with, adhering to, or constituting a norm, standard, pattern, level, or type; typical
But what really is “normal?” Is normal white picket fences around a nice house? Is it two attentive parents who treat their children and each other fairly? Is it growing up without worries and achieving a level of success? Is it having healthy relationships? Maybe it is those things, but they are not my normal.
As I continue to think about my life and analyze situations in it, I’ve thought a lot about what my normal is, has been, and hopefully what it could be. It has been a life filled with underacheiving, feelings of insignificance, mediocrity, depression, emptiness, and loneliness. Some of those are topics I’ve discussed in previous entries and I’m sure I will discuss them more in future entries.
I do like success and I have succeeded at some things. I have also experienced happiness at some points of my life, but that feeling is one that genuinely confuses me. Happiness is not my normal. I do not like feeling sad, but it’s what is normal to me, so there is a comfort level there. By no means does that make it good, but it is what it is, and it is my normal.
I function adequately in social situations. But then again, so did Patrick Bateman and Dexter Morgan. Those two people may be fiction characters with homicidal instincts, but I related to them, just not the homicidal part, just their social angst. Very often they would put on a fake smile and thrill people with their small talk to get through a social event. I do that as well. I am not very comfortable in social settings and that makes it difficult for me to get emotionally close to people.
To make matters worse for me, I am usually confused by anyone that does get close to me. The whole thing is overwhelming to me at times. It can sometimes get to the point that I am the most tense around the people I’m supposed to be closest with. And that can sometimes make situations more uncomfortable. But all of this seems so incredibly normal to me.
Underachieving and sometimes failure are also two things I’m quite used to. Throughout my years in school, I would always just get by. I was often told that I could do better, but I interpreted those words to mean “I am not good enough” which would then result in me shutting down my efforts more than usual, but then again, just getting by was my normal.
In my professional career, I have been promoted a few times. Unfortunately, some of those promotions did not last. In some cases, the promotions were only given to me after the higher ups had exhausted every other option they had. I’ve actually had a promotion offered to me due to me being “the least unqualified” for the position. Backhanded compliments like that do wonders to my already frail ego and esteem. But, it all seems to normal to me.
I do have a good set of friends in my life. I have been able to accept that, but I still don’t understand it. And while I do have good people, I also still seem to very often get myself into unhealthy situations with people that challenge my ability to grow my esteem and generally don’t advance much. But as I’ve been saying, it’s my normal.
Sadness is not what I strive for, at least I don’t believe I do. After writing this, I am starting to wonder about it. But sadness is a comfortable feeling for me. It’s been my normal for most of my conscience existence. Everyone has a “comfort zone.” Happiness is not mine. Although, the confusion surrounding happiness is not too far removed from my comfort zone.
I feel that this entry is skipping around a little bit into the subtopics of what I’m discussing, and in some ways I’m just starting to scratch the surface of the issue. And I do hope to be able to get more of this out there in the near future. It’s just that I’ve lacked the motivation lately, but that’s also normal for me. In addition, I do genuinely hope that one day I can write about all of this again, but in the past tense. It might be nice to have my normal be a positive thing. I don’t know what that’s like. Maybe one day I’ll be there and hopefully it won’t confuse me as much as it has so far.