September 25, 2013

"Normal" ??!!?!?!?!?! ugh!!!

I spent well over 4 hours today in a car with a coworker. We had to drive quite a ways to see a client who does not live near our workplace. Anyways, the whole way to the far off city and back to our work my coworker kept telling me how lucky I am to have had such a "normal" life, while comparing it to her own "Jerry Springer Show" life. I sat there and listened to her talk about my life. I shared with her that I don't know how normal my upbringing really was, really if you think about it what does normal mean?

Normal according to Merriam-Webster, click for a link to the definition.

Really the many many (8, plus the subgroups of each number...) definitions here do not clarify this for me. Numbers 1, 5, 6, 7, and 8 might not apply at all, and that leaves 2, 3, and 4.

2: a: according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle
2: b: conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern 
3: occurring naturally 
4: a: of, relating to, or characterized  by average intelligence or development
4: b: free from mental disorder: sane

First lets address 2: a. We would have to devise what is the norm, and of which part of the population does the norm address?  Middle class, white, christian families from (insert name of city where i grew up)? The greater population from my area? I don't even know where to start with this idea...i suppose you could say that the norm in society while I was growing up and experiencing my so called "normal" childhood was divorced parents and substance use for the parents, which do not apply to my family, and who knows what all else. What is "normal" in my small little part of the world is not going to be "normal" for everyone...

Now for 2: b. This is basically the same as before, in order to understand if this definition fits you have to know what it means by the type, standard, or regular pattern. I suppose my family worked hard to keep up appearances to meet the standards of those around us.

Next comes 3. Yes, my siblings and I were all born "naturally" no C-sections happened, however we were raised possibly "unnaturally" and were cut off and sheltered from a lot of the world around us...

4: a. I suppose I have average intelligence, although I was part of the GATE (gifted and talented education) program at my school growing up, so maybe that is not entirely true, perhaps I am above average in this area and therefore not "normal".

And last but not least, 4: b. This just does not apply, take a second and glance through my blog if you disagree.

Suffice it to say, "normal" is such a subjective term. It means something so different to so many people. I am not a huge fan of the term "normal" perhaps because people like to use it to describe my childhood. No I did not have any particularly life altering things happen when I was quite young (I was never sexually or physically abused, my parents never split up, I went to a good school, I got good grades, etc.). As I got older I did have some life altering things which happened, I am not going to go in to detail now, because I am falling asleep writing this, but I just wrote this post to talk about how I hate the term "normal" haha.

I had the childhood I had, I have lived the life that I have lived, I have gone through the things that I have gone through, and I am a better person for it. yes, I may have had a relatively "easy" childhood compared to some, but that does not make my struggles and negative experiences in life disappear.

And I bid you goodnight.

Emmy R.