Why I Don't Like This Word as a Person With a Disability

Do you have one word you wish people would stop using to describe your life? Is there a word or a phrase that really gets under your skin? For me that word is “normal.”

Every single person in this world is different and unique in their own way. That is what makes the human race special; everyone is an individual with their own preferences and their own tastes. This by extension means that everyone sees the world in a unique way. Everyone has their own view of what “normal” looks like.

For me, normal is waking up, putting on my braces and trying to figure out how to adapt to the world around me. I am what some people would call unconventional. I do not walk like other people; I don’t have the flexibility or coordination that other people have. Sometimes the way I have to do things shocks other people, and they often ask, “how come you don’t do this the normal way?” What people don’t realize is that the way I do things is the way I have to do things. It is my “normal.”

Next time a person uses the word “normal,” I hope they stop and think about what they are truly saying. If someone does something differently than someone else, that is OK. Quite frankly, I think the word “normal” takes away from a person’s individualism.

A wise man once told me that “normal is a setting on a clothes dryer.” Every person is different, and we all need to embrace our individuality, not hide from it!

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