Normal is overrated.
I grew up with a fear of being the center of attention. I wasn’t just timid about public speaking or performing in front of a crowd; it was beyond that. I had a doctors appointment one day in elementary school, and when my mom brought be back to school I cried in the bathroom instead of walking back to my classroom because I knew over 20 sets of eyes would all turn and notice me.
Growing up I studied what other girls wore, what they liked and disliked, how they acted, and I tried to emulate their every move. I had a deep fear of standing out.
The major obstacle of living with this fear was the fact that I was never like all of the other girls. I was the tallest student in my class most of elementary school, I was a tomboy, and my hobbies were different than most. Sure I had barbies, an american girl doll, and did cheerleading one year, but I also played football in third grade and took a construction and woodworking class in high school.
What I’ve realized is that my desire to be normal was essentially a desire to be invisible; to blend into the crowd.
I never took the time to decide what I liked because I was too busy worrying about what I was supposed to like. It wasn’t until my late teens and early twenties that I finally started figuring out who I am as a person and began embracing my quirks. I have tried to become a leader instead of a follower, and to take the time to think about what I like and why I like it.
In college, I wasn’t a partier or stereotypical sorority girl. I maintained good grades and cooked food much more nutritious than ramen. Now that I’ve graduated, I have found that I spend more money at home improvement and craft stores than I do at clothing stores. My coworkers walk around with designer shoes and purses while mine are from Target. Let’s just say there are quite a few conversations I don’t find utterly relatable.
I am still not normal, and I don’t plan on becoming normal anytime soon. I am unique and quirky and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I just have to find the people that accept me for me, judgement free.
My advice to you, whether you’re still figuring out who you are or you’re well aware of your own uniqueness, is to be seen and make your presence known. You do you.
Because normal is invisible.