Friday, January 21, 2011

Different...just like everybody else....

“Come on…who do you….who do you think you are/ hahaha bless your soul/ you really think you’re in control?”
-Gnarls Barkley, “Crazy”

From the time we were little brown and beige bears shuffling through life, someone has been telling us what to do, where to go, and who to go there with. It usually goes a little something like this. Our parents pick our schools. Our schools (indirectly) pick our friends. Our friends pick our habits.  The television, magazines, and popular media pick our clothes and shoes. And for everything that hasn’t already been decided, we use our religion. So much of our lives are decided for us. Have you noticed that? If not, take a moment now to consider it. I wanted to start this post off by posing this question, because it’s the perfect segue to the larger issue of normalcy.
What do you think was the underlying motivation beneath all those decisions made for you as a little tyke? It was normalcy. Your parents wanted you to fit in with other children. They sent you to a good school, with other good children, because they wanted you to be a good kid. They assummed all that "good-ness" would rub off on you.! It’s the same reason why they wouldn’t let you wear your Power Ranger costume to school after Halloween. They didn’t want people to laugh at you, for you to be moving target for the other children. But as a result of all this sameness training, you learned a very important lesson, and that lesson is that being normal is the goal.  And in the off chance that you do decide to be different you will need to find a group a people that are different in the same way. It's the essence of social groups like Goths or gangs. Both groups are trying to convey deviance to the world, but all the members of the group do it the same way. The Goths , with their black lipstick and trench coats. And the gangs with their guns and violence. Gangs are hilarious to me, because they want to be different soo bad, but then force their members to wear the same damn color! So original, I know.
So the point of all this is that in your pursuit to become normal you decide that there are certain experiences and people that you need to have in your life. You need to go to this school, and marry this person. You need to join this group and so on. You think that having these things will make you successful and normal, but more than anything you think they will make you happy. Until, one of two things happens. The first thing that can happen is that you don’t get the things you think you need to be happy. Dammit! This will, obviously, make you very unhappy. But the other thing that can happen is that you do get some collection of the things you think you need and low and behold….you are still not happy. What! But why? (you will ask yourself). Aren’t I supposed to be happy? Wasn’t the job supposed to make me happy? What about the husband/wife? Or the baby?  You will wonder, “Didn’t this make all all the other people happy?”  “Is there something wrong with me because I have these things and am not happy?” You may even be told by others that you are ungrateful because you are not happy….you may begin to feel guilty.
Sound familiar? I know it does for me. And at the core of all this normalcy and unhappiness is comfort and fear.  These were even the two underlying factors in your parents’ motivation to make you normal in the first place. They were afraid that people would make fun of you for being different so they taught you that some semblance of conformity was necessary.  As we get older, we get so comfortable in doing “the right thing” that we forget do what we THINK and FEEL is right for us. In truth, there is nothing wrong with wanting a traditional lifestyle. But on the off chance that you don’t feel like that’s a good fit for you, that’s okay too.  Human beings are just as different as we are alike.  Ponder that.  There is no person living or dead that is just like you and there never was.  Meaning there IS, NEVER WAS, and NEVER WILL BE, a person just like you. The universe knew that when it conceived each of us. I truly believe that we are here on this earth to have an exchange with each other. A cultural, spiritual and sometimes physical *winking at my gf* exchange; one where we learn from and teach each other.  The purpose is definately not to all morph into carbon copies of each other.
I read a post the other day from one my favorite bloggers, she was writing about how she has made the decision to leave her job to pursue a career in creativity. I say creativity because she listed like 5 creative pursuits and I don’t want to discredit any by listing only one. Anyway, the post was about how she was panicking because she wouldn’t have the comfort and normalcy of her job to anchor her anymore. She was worried about money and all that jazz.  My first thought was, “damn I can relate.”  But on second thought I realized that what she is doing was not only necessary (for her) but it also serves as a great lesson for all of us.  How many of us have devoted our whole lives to a career, lifestyle, religion, or idea that just isn’t working for us? Yet, we refuse to change. We refuse to try something different for fear of rejection or failure.  Is our fear of not fitting in or not being able to predict the next 20 years of our lives, stronger than our will be happy? Stronger than our desire to create? The bible says that you can’t serve two masters, *yes, I just paraphrased the Bible…you can close your mouth now lol,*  and I believe this to be true. You can’t have a desire to be normal and to fit in at all costs and then expect for wonderful marvelous things to manifest in your life. It just doesn’t work that way. Marvelous-ness takes a leap of faith. It takes fear.less.ness. It takes courage and a desire to be the one who make the trends instead of the one who mindlessly follows them. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am definitely talking to myself as well. I sometimes sneak and apply for jobs every now and again, trying to convince myself that something feels better than my fingers tapping the keys of this board. Or that something warms my soul like finishing a poem, blog posting, or a chapter in my book.  But the truth is nothing feels better, and I don’t castigate myself for that anymore. I accept me….as “queer” as I may seem other people.  
We are all different, so what you may be holding onto will be different that what I am. But I challenge you today, to just believe in yourself enough to explore the possibility of doing something you have always wanted to do…but didn’t because you were scared. Do it. Do it today. Why not? You have been doing things the same way for this long and what has it gotten you? More of the same, right? So you can cut the hair you have been growing since you were 12. Or go back to school if you want. You’re not a weirdo if you are interested in yoga. Or want to take up swing-dancing. Even if you want to want to leave your job and bake cakes for a living. Its ok. There are no cruel kids waiting to tease you or beat you up, I promise!

Below, I have posted the video to one of my favorite songs, "Crazy." I wanted to use this song because, in truth, once you decide that being normal is no longer your goal, many people will think you are a lunatic. But so freakin what!!! Those are the same people too afraid to do what you are doing. Too scared to live instead of exist!  So loose your mind. Forget about all the “supposed tos,” and “shoulds.”  Because, this is a safe place…YOU can come out Now!


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