Last night, saddened by the lack of everyone’s favorite foods in the house, I decided to be Santa Clause for the evening and rode my bike to the nearest Safeway. I got everyone some of their favorite foods, and a few things requested, and was struck by how I felt….
…..I felt so normal.
I went to the gluten bread section, to get a loaf for my dad and sister, I got cereal for my sister. I felt so normal going through the checkout line, with my basket filled with peanut butter, bread, cereal, milk, chocolate, bananas, and no green leafy vegetables to be seen peeking out of my bag. Never mind the fact that the peanut butter was all-natural and unsalted, the milk non-dairy, the bread fresh baked, the chocolate unsweetened, and the green vegetables already stashed at home.
Fast forward to this morning:
I felt so normal jogging around the track near my house. (I got another one of those random cravings for running. I did intermitened walking and running, but I managed to go one mile without stopping! woohoo!)
I felt normal listening to Lady Gaga while sweating and panting my head off.
I, personally, find this interesting: why do we, as human beings, experience the need to feel normal? Why are we afraid to be different? In fact, most of the people who make all the big changes in the world are different or ‘not normal’.
That would certainly define me 99 percent of the time. I’m not a partier, I don’t eat gluten, I’m vegan, I like rats, I hate makeup, and I loooove my salads. But I always want to draw similarities between myself and the supposedly “normal” people.
Case and point:
“Yeah, I think tempeh is pretty gross, too. Ick”
But there is no getting around the fact that I love tofu and don’t support overly plastic packaged products, and never frequent the gym. There is no beating around the bush: I am different than most people.
But this begs the question: who the heck are these “most people” we always speak of? “Most people” would say they are not like “most people”. Why would we want to be like “most people” and be “normal” when in reality, there is no standard? Actually, I take that back, there is a standard– but not one based in fact. Corporations and propaganda set to put out the “standards”, in the hopes that everyone will follow their lead and buy their product or give them money.
I, for one, will not buy into that. (At least most of the time. We can’t all be perfect!) I am proud to be different and I use that to affect change for the better At the same time, I can’t deny that I love the strangely comforting feeling of “normalcy” that I get when I do certain activities. Why should l I deny myself that, if it’s doesn’t do much harm?
Because, dammit, I really do like Lady Gaga.
What make you different or, on the converse side, what makes you feel “normal”?