Stop trying to be normal if you are not.
In fact, most people are everything but normal. However, they have downloaded normality guidelines from the internet, family, colleagues, friends, religion and god knows where, and are trying very hard to tick off the boxes of convention.
As with any endeavour taken with passion and dedication, you will most likely succeed. But is it worth the time and effort?
If there is one thing I have given up, it is trying to be normal. I don’t take credit for it, however: I grew up in a very conservative and bleak post-Soviet society where the fear of the Other had penetrated every aspect of life. I then continued my higher education in rather proper British institutions.
Throughout those years, which would accumulate to about 25, I was never considered normal by any of the environments in. At first, it was difficult. Then, at a certain point I just began embracing my abnormality.
I find people who don’t find the courage to embrace their ab-normality and make it normal for them saddening, if not frustrating.
I have met gay men who claim they are not normal or are ashamed of their sexuality. I have met people who aren’t spiritual and yet try to convince everybody around them that they are. I have met young women who are with wealthy old men and are pretending they are in love. I have met people who pursue traditional careers just to prove something to their parents or keep up the lifestyle it permits them. I have met people who love but do their best to repress what they are feeling. All of them were trying to live up to a certain normality standard.
If there is one lesson that living in Bali has taught me, it is:
Stop trying to be normal. There is nothing attractive or truthful about normality. If anything, your ab-normality is the only asset you’ve got.
What’s your normal?
Take a pen now. Write it down.
What’s my normal?
I am a rebel gay man, adventurer, writer and entrepreneur living in the middle of rice fields in Bali. This is my normal. At this point in my life.