“Normal is just a setting on the washer.” That was the sign in a supervisor’s office. I always found it enlightening and it reminded me that there is no real normal. We are, all of us, a mixture of delicates and dry clean only. Sometimes, expecting ourselves to be normal shrinks our self-confidence and ruins our thinking process. We cannot force ourselves to be normal. It never turns out in our favor.

I am aware that it is difficult to not desire to be normal. Who doesn’t want happiness and security all of the time? I know I do. However, it is not always possible. Emotions come and go. Having normalcy is having emotions and being abnormal. There is no normal.

I know I am being redundant, but there is a purpose to it. So often, we get stuck in this mindset that normal is the epitome of existence and that is our sole goal in life. Unfortunately, that is unlikely—next to impossible, really.

So, I am going to propose something: Be yourself.

I know. What advice. It’s only all we heard for most of our lives. However, we are consistently unhappy with ourselves. We loathe our existence and are constantly striving for something more, something better. Just a thought: Maybe, you are good enough. Maybe, you are rocking awesome. Maybe, you are more than expected and not in a bad way. Maybe, you are perfect. Exactly.

I have been wondering these past few days about normal and what exactly it means for me. I used to believe in individual normals. I used to have a normal that was good for me. I don’t know what happened.

I think life happened and my normal changed or peaced out. As a result, I fumble about, trying to find some semblance of order and happiness in my life. I envy those people who seem to have it together, the ones we call normal, and then I realize that I don’t know the whole story. Some people fake it really well. They could be falling apart on the inside. They could be thinking I am normal. They could be wishing they were more like me. If they only knew.

Everyone has his/her own definition of normal and it doesn’t fit everyone else. I used to be vivacious and witty and outgoing and willing to do anything. I would never have defined myself as fearful or anxious. Now, I am totally different. I miss my old normal, but even I recognize that as abnormal for many other people.

I am just trying to hold on right now. I keep hoping things will get better, but am terrified of being stuck in this survival mode for the rest of my life. People talk about living a life worth living and it seems so out of touch with my reality. I am a delicate and I want to get out, but first I need to follow the special care instructions.

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