You’re Not Normal
You’re not normal. Neither am I. And I think that’s a good thing.
Normal is the small scoop of ice cream. A clean house. Always well-behaved kids. Normal is an always-balanced household budget.
Normal trudges to some job. Neither the over or under achiever. Instead, sitting exactly in the middle – the most uninteresting place to be. A place where it feels neither accomplished nor challenged. Just normal.
Normal doesn’t say what it thinks; it’s too scared of judgment. Normal lives through its head, not its heart. Normal sits around a table and shakes its head “yes,” because everyone else is doing so. Normal walks, when it really wants to skip. Sits, when it really wants to dance. Normal doesn’t sing loudly and off-key.
Normal goes through life, not well or badly, but with no particular feeling at all. Normal is blue shirts and khaki pants. Sensible shoes. Normal likes what everyone does. Normal doesn’t shake with tears of joy, compassion or heartbreak. Normal shows up, but is too afraid to leave its mark.
Normal is the goal we think we want to achieve, but are disappointed when we have done so. Be careful when you wish for a ‘normal’ day or a ‘normal’ life. You may just get it.
Now weirdness, on the other hand? Weirdness, I can get behind.
Weirdness is the seemingly errant thought. Weirdness says and does things that aren’t always considered “popular.” Weirdness can often be considered outrageous. Sometimes dangerous. Or just plain weird.
Weirdness asks, “I wonder what would happen if I just (insert totally random thought here).” Weirdness questions if any other person on the planet meets its depths of crazy. Weirdness can be interesting. Funny. Smart. Odd. Bizarre. But at least it’s something.
Weirdness lives fully and laughs hard. Weirdness inspires great art, music, literature. Provides entertainment. Weirdness fuels business. It is the engine behind innovation and creation. Most importantly, weirdness is the rock of love and relationships.
Weirdness connects people in a way that normal could never even dream of.
As Robert Fulghum said, “We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.”
I think when that mutually satisfying weirdness extends beyond two people that becomes our tribe – our tribe of weirdos. Weirdos we need. Because in all of their quirky, freakishness, they make us appreciate the world – and ourselves – for all of its (and our) weird wonder. Making it more colorful. More joyous. More intriguing. More alive. Weirder. Better.
But we don’t love our weirdness. We push it down and pull our normal up. To the top. Where it doesn’t deserve to be. Normal is not the cream. It’s the grounds. Left over from our once good cup of weirdness.
I don’t know why we do that.
Because you’re not normal. Neither am I. None of us are.
I’m glad for it.
And I think we should kind of accept it.
This post is dedicated to my tribe of weirdos. You know who you are.
Patty McDonough Kennedy is an entrepreneur, consultant and speaker. She has lived and worked in a number of countries and helps organizations better connect with key stakeholders to improve awareness, engagement and sales. She is a TEDx speaker and profiled in Entrepreneur, Forbes and The Wall Street Journal. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org