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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Borer

What is Normal?

Have you ever said to yourself, “I wish I was normal…” or, “Normal people do __________ (fill in the blank).”

But, if you really think about it, is there really a such thing as normal?

Honestly, not really. We each have our unique definition of what is normal, which is shaped by numerous factors: our environment, our upbringing, our job, our perceptions, etc.

For instance, it’s normal for me to go to bed at 10 pm every single night. It’s my normal. I can’t imagine not doing it. But compare this to any other college kid, and my normal suddenly becomes abnormal.

Or, here in the Midwest, it is normal to say please and thank you to those around us. Travel to large, coastal cities, and this norm doesn’t become so normal anymore.

One last example: it was customary for my family to eat home-cooked meals every night of the week when I was growing up. That’s far from “normal” to most families in today’s society, when eating out several times per week is the norm.

All this to say is that it’s okay to have your own versions of what is normal. It’s okay to embrace those differences. If we were all the same and had the same views on normality, there would be no change, no growth, no positive communication.

But, as with all things, this normalcy can also impede us. What if it is normal for us to eat a donut every morning for breakfast (did you read my post about this??!)? What if it is normal for us to sit all day and never get any exercise or movement? In these cases, yes, a change to the “norm” could be made.

However, this change to a new normal shouldn't feel forced. A forced change is rarely a good one. When we try to succumb to what society deems as “normal,” we often lose ourselves and our health in the process. We become overwhelmed with comparative, anxious thoughts like, "Am I doing what is normal??" instead of just being happy with who we are.

Instead, critically think about your norms. Are they helping or impeding you? Are your norms making you happier and healthier? Do you have room for improvement?

Always keep in mind that your uniqueness is what makes you you! Never let someone tell you that what you do isn’t normal. It’s all subjective.

My challenge for you today is to embrace your normal, not matter how "weird" it may seem. You wouldn't be you without it!

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