For most of my life I have considered myself normal or as Saathi puts it in the middle of the bell curve. Nothing extreme about my life. So, when a new acquaintance mentioned in passing that a friend of hers knew us, I was curious. Talking further I figured it is because we are a very visible family. Conversation meandered to other things and I filed away that nugget in the recesses of my brain to chew on later.
So, today doing the dishes after dinner, I went back to what she had said. “What is normal?” Suddenly normal did not seem normal any more. I define normal as living and doing things as done by most folks around me. Kind of keeping up with the Joneses.
I grew up thinking life follows a trajectory. College, Work, Love, Marriage, Kids, Retirement. Often there would be the outlier. The college drop out, the entrepreneur right out of college, the friend who never married by choice, the child-free by choice and the odd friend who decides to work way past retirement. All of these people commanded my respect for breaking out of the mold and charting their course.
So, suddenly being marked as an outlier rankled. Then I realized, most of us are outliers in some way. There really is no normal. Normal is subjective. Normal is boring!