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To the Girl Who Just Wants to Be 'Normal'

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I know how hard it can be to feel anything but “normal.” To feel flawed and broken and “crazy.” Your head may feel taken hostage by something or someone and you just don’t feel right. You may feel flawed and different and awkward and wrong. You may feel stuck. You may feel stuck in the cycle of mental illness while the rest of the world seems to float on by, appearing “perfect” and nonchalant and just, “normal.”

I know how hard it is to feel like you’re on the outside looking in on the regular world. You may watch as the world moves as normal, day after day, and you just wish you were moving along with it. You may sit in your apartment looking out the window at the people passing. People running, groups of bikers, friends together laughing. You may imagine yourself as one of them, “normal.”

You want to be “normal,” too. But you don’t feel “normal.”

You may lay in your bed staring at the ceiling just hoping and wishing things could be different. Maybe wishing life would have worked out differently for you. Maybe wishing you had different genetics or were born in different circumstances or that event you experienced hadn’t happened. You may often just wish you were a different person. A “normal” person.

Day after day you may be going through the motions, trying your best to appear “normal,” to blend in, not ruffle feathers, not make mistakes. You put on your normal mask and pray no one notices who you are behind that mask.

Please, let everyone think I’m normal like them. Please.

With the mask on, you may float through life day by day, but at night when you take it off, you cry just wishing things were different. You wish you didn’t need a mask to feel “normal.” You take your medication and pray for sleep so you can forget for a little while.

Maybe you’ve been told you’re not “normal.” Maybe you’ve had people in your life who’ve called you “crazy” or “weird” or “insane.” It stings, and maybe you let their words convince you that you are those things.

Don’t believe them.

Because here’s the thing: there is no such thing as “normal” and even if there was, you are perfect the way you are.

I know you may not believe me at first. You may point to the status quo and say, “Look, but what about that” and “I want to be that, I want to blend in.” You may have felt like the black sheep for years in a flock of stark white. You may not want to stand out anymore.

And yes, it will take time to accept this. It can take a very long time to accept who you are. To accept that maybe you don’t fit a certain mold — it’s hard. You can let yourself mourn the loss of the person you wanted to be, but don’t stay there. Mourn and move on, you’ve got big things to do in life.

You can do wonderful things in this world if you stop chasing and waiting for “normal.” You can move mountains with that soul of yours if you just stop putting on that mask and trying to be something else. You could help the lives of so many people around you, maybe even complete strangers, if you accept yourself and live into you.

Live into your “specialness” — live into those traits that make you feel different. Embrace them.

I know what it’s like to not feel “normal,” but these days I choose to embrace the fact that maybe I’m different than a lot of people, because you know what? That’s who I am, and I like it this way.

Not Normal

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Thinkstock photo via isaxar.

Originally published: July 25, 2017
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