I recently mused on a Monday and asked you to think about who Normal Man was. Remember? So who is this person (and I’ll take Normal Woman for an answer)? Our new, soon to be iconic, superhero. The defender of all that makes our usual day. Protecting our boundaries from the extraordinary. Our decisions from the unexpected. Did you give the question any thought? I hope you did, I mean, it’s really important if life is to go on as we know it! Are you ready to build a mental picture?
Now I’m thinking it may be a lot harder to create this image than it is to create a Superman or Wonder Woman picture and character. Even a Spiderman. You see, Superman is easily defined. His role is to fight the bad guys, those who seek to do wrong, usually on a crime so heinous as to effect the whole of mankind, and we can all spot a bad guy. Ever wonder how the writer even managed to think the plot up? Of course Superman himself is clean cut with an air of naivete. The all round good guy. The roles are clear cut.
But Normal Man, I mean what is normal? I would like to suggest to you that there is really no normal because people are so diverse and as someone wrote “what is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly”. People are diverse in their likes and dislikes, in their habits, hopes and dreams, in fact in their everything. It could be that believing we can define normal is a fallacy, but do your seat belt up tight because I may try to have a go.
A small group of friends may gather around a certain set of behaviors such as “we eat lunch at this time” but me, I eat mine an hour later so whose right. Neither are right. Both are right. You, Pogue, normally watch some TV in the evenings and me, well I may well chose to read a book. No normal there unless we agree it is normal for us to spend our time differently.
I suppose we could say that the bus normally comes at midday or the coffee shop normally has some of that excellent chocolate cake as we talk of things reoccurring. Then, of course, reoccurring events spill over into our everyday and routines are established (for the sake of your racing snake figure don’t let that excellent chocolate cake become a routine!). I’ve just been reading about Immanuel Kant whose life was, reportedly, the epitome of normal. Rising at 5.00am every morning he would write for 3 hours before making his way to the University where he lectured. Lunching in the same cafe day after day (I wonder if he varied his choices?) before walking in the same park and taking supper with the same person. It was said that you could set your clock by his routine. Normalcy personified! But his thinking was anything but normal and would effect us all.
Normal is a repeated, predictable event or mode of behavior. Normal is reliable to such a degree that we can plan for it. In fairness, it brings stability to life, allows for planning and generally allows for the machine that is life to keep on turning.
Maybe your weird is my normalNicki Minaj
So, again, who is Normal Man? That predictable, reliable person who lives patterns that reoccur over and over. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat. That’s the tee shirt. Life with a vanilla flavor, sliding into the background to become part of the scenery. We cease to notice them because, well when a thing happens repeatedly, always looks the same, it just becomes part of the scenery. Isn’t that the sum of so many lives we cross paths with everyday? Merged into the background? Another shade of grey, like so many cars on the road these days? And when a bright red one passes by you suddenly notice it.
You know our saying: “It’s not hard to be excellent in a world of mediocrity”. If I extend this a little further, if you will permit, and say: “it’s not hard to be extraordinary in a normal world” and that’s what I want to leave you today.
Let excellence be your brand…Oprah Winfrey
When you are excellent, you become unforgettable. Doing the right thing even when nobody knows you’re doing the right thing will always bring the right thing to you.
The assurance that it is within you to excel, to be Superwoman in a world full of normal men. It really isn’t hard. Maybe a little hard to live with because, well you will stand out. A red car in a grey world. But, hey, everyone needs a Little Red Corvette in their lives. When you stand out you have created an opportunity to realise your potential. Yes, we all have unrealised potential, potential that Normal Man is never going to take out of the box. Now, heads up, be aware the Little Red Corvette is going to be labelled “unusual”. It attracts attention and so does the person who begins to unpack the box. Take a look at some unusual lives, often creatives, writers, artists, poets. Not an exhaustive list by a long shot. You’ll find creatives in all areas of life doing things differently, asking questions about processes and the status quo. Asking a lot of “Why’s”. Troubling people. Embarrassing people. EXCITING PEOPLE. And from these people comes “different” and “new” and “possibilities”. Like, I’m thinking, how did you get wired to see the world like that? Should we all take the breaks off for a while and see where the cart goes. Beyond the boundaries of where Normal Man resides?
So, receive an invitation to step beyond the boundaries, to use the word “why” excessively and to embrace different. Realise you are so much more than you have so far become and you can start to unleash this potential when you embrace abnormal as something exciting. Enjoy your weird.
Yours, enjoying eccentricity,