I’ve been thinking about the idea of normalcy for some time now….
The idea that something that was once foreign to us…whether it be the death of someone dear, deceit, abuse, being a parent, homelessness, an illness or even an asshole president eventually becomes a normalcy.
Normalcy/normality: the state of being usual, typical, or expected.
I wonder why I keep coming back to this idea…I’m interested. I’m curious about how it becomes normal to live with illness, or how I’ve suddenly become accustomed to living without a dog after having one for nine years. When I was a teen and started “going out” with a new boy I used to repeat their name in my head over and over again to make it a normality to have their name on my mind. We become accustomed to ideas, to situations…we basically learn to cope. I think though that when it becomes a normalcy in our lives we’ve either been forced to cope (ie. Death or dumbass president) or we’ve begun to take something for granted.
Remember that feeling of a first kiss? Not with someone you’ve just met or don’t mind the idea of kissing but someone who you’ve thought of for years. Someone you’ve compared every other person to and then you’ve finally had the privilege of connecting through one of the most sensitive parts of your self. That is a fantastic first kiss that you only get to taste once. (Geez..I’m getting myself excited just writing about such a thing…where was I going???) It’s when kissing that same person who you had that amazing first kiss with no longer makes your heart jump out of your chest, when your body no longer tingles and the excitement has somehow slid into a comfortable zone that it has become a normalcy. And that is unfortunate. I would see that as an example of taking that person or relationship for granted.
On the flip side when a human who reminds you of a character off the Simpsons first has the balls to run for something as far fetched as the presidency of the most powerful country in the world, and eventually, without you understanding how, is sworn in as the 45th president. You learn and are forced to cope. It’s a normalcy now for people around the world to stand up, speak out and form alliances in reaction to the current state of American politics. It’s become normal to turn on the news and hear about acts of terrorism, explosions, shootings…
How quickly our realities change. Our normal one day could be torn apart the next and within 21 days or so (I’ve read that it takes 21 days to form a habit or routine) that becomes our new state of normalcy.
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but…the thing is that we are constantly changing. Our realities are forever changing. One day I’m a twenty something year old singing in a band and happy to get a job at a local pub. The next I’m having a baby naturally on the couch in my living room and I’m terrified of giving my child cancer so I’m restricting her diet and my own. Five years later I barely go out of the house without my two kids, I’m drawing and writing and cooking and caring for other people’s children. My normalcy changes every couple years. And I cope, or eventually take it all for granted….
It’s a crazy ass life this is. And we are amazing creatures who evolve and cope and love and hate and….there’s nothing else we can do really.
I worry about those whose normality is completely out of their grasp though. Those who live in poverty or abuse or…worse. It would sadly still become their norm. The empty bellies and broken bones or spirit. Their normalcy.
I want to continue to work towards a nonjudgmental, generous, kind, open door normalcy. One that I am able to both cope with and be comfortable with in the same breath. Does that make sense?