“I just want to be normal.” “I just want to live a normal life.”
“I’d be happy if my kid was normal.”
How many times have you heard these statements, or even spoken them aloud? Please tell me what’s so special about being normal?
Or, maybe I should rephrase that in the words of one of my newest Twitter friends. After his tweet—the title of this post—I felt inspired to write a brief essay about this topic.
Normal is not the end-goal.
Do you really want to be average? Most of us like to think that we are unique in some way. After we leave the school system, where it’s more important to “fit in,” we discover a feeling of gratification when we stand out for something.
What’s all this fuss about following the normal path to success: go to college, get a job, get married, have kids, get promoted, buy a house, expect to work for decades, try to save money, plan for retirement, send kids off to college...and hope your kids repeat the cycle. This is what society (still) tells us is normal.
Envision your life outside the norm.
Normal lives are boring.
Some may disagree, but you’re probably not reading this blog post if you do. I’ve tried living a normal life. Predictable. Scheduled. Safe. No way it could go wrong. But, I was dead inside. No spirit or spunk left. I played the normal life game well until a curve ball was thrown my way, and I viewed it as an opportunity to go for abnormal.
I moved to Central California from Chicago with only what I could pack into my Honda Civic. I met my husband and (step) daughter within two weeks. I landed a killer job at a marketing agency with minimal experience. All these events led me to begin a life of adventure and exploration outside my prior normal. I’ve never looked back.
Embrace a counterculture lifestyle.
Want more for the next generation.
Do you really want your kids to be average? Tiger Moms are proof that some parents expect their children to become overachievers. Though they do take it to the extreme, do you know of any parent who is proud of their student because they make “straight C’s” in school. (Well, that’s another topic I’d rather not get into...the grading system!) Regardless, every parent is eager for his/her child to succeed in life. Normal is not the standard.
Yet, if a child does not follow the same path his/her parents did, the child is being irrational or throwing away his/her education. We are too quick to judge those children and young adults who challenge our staid way of doing things. The ones who buck the system and break the rules are the innovators of the future. Accept it. Normal is not in their DNA.
Empower young people to go for their dreams.
Vernon still sums it up best in four words, “Normality is so overrated.”
Your Turn: Do you prefer being considered normal? If not, how do you want to stand out? I’d love to hear more about your dreams for the future.
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