How do I let go of the desire to be “normal”?
Well, first of all, there is no normal.
I mean it. The most normal person you know has moments or hours or days in which all they can see about themselves is their persistent failure to be like everyone else. Our individual quirks and distinctions are inevitable pieces of the human experience.
Normal is a ghost, a hazy intangible terror, a wisp always lingering at the edge of our peripheral vision. No one can conclusively define it; we think we’ll know it when we see it, but normal is also subjective, and what one person sees as normal may be totally freakish to another.
Some folks argue it’s not-normal to be queer, or fat, or to care too much/not care at all about the clothes you wear, or to invest so much of yourself in fictional stories and characters. Some folks argue it’s not-normal to be disabled, or to be neurodivergent, or to have a closer relationship with your cat than you do with your mother. But what the fuck do they know?
If people around you are giving you shit about you being weird? Hang out with different people. Ideally, people who value you just as you are, with all your idiosyncrasies intact. Endeavor to value the weirdness in others, as this will help you accept your own. Understand: none of us is normal.
The longing you feel to be normal is just that standard social pressure to fit in. And yeah, that pressure is often really, really intense. But chasing after normal is chasing after a cultural chimera—-you’ll never catch it, because it doesn’t exist. I have found, in my experience, that it’s far more gratifying to be happy than to be normal, and nobody gets to decide what makes you happy but you.
Love, Your Beluga Best Friend
Awesome BBF drawing courtesy of Hannah, who Tumbls at http://pedanticromantic.tumblr.com/. If you’d like to contribute a drawing of Your Beluga Best Friend, sketch it up and email it to me at lesley at twowholecakes dot com, along with your name and a link to credit. Thanks!