I’ve been analysing myself for as long as I can remember, always trying to figure out if I was normal in comparison to other people; those I saw portrayed in the media and those I encountered in real life. Growing up, I learned that there is no such thing as normal. Everyone has their own normal and that’s okay. It’s actually more than okay, it’s great and we should celebrate our differences instead of trying to hide them. How boring would life be if we liked the same things, wore the same things, behaved the same way etc.
We have a psychologist specialised on occupational health at work and the other week she talked in a meeting about what her work actually entails. Before, I had felt extremely self conscious around her because I know I cannot leave my own frame of work thinking and work goggles behind when I’m not working. Would she instantly diagnose me with my abandonment and commitment issues because of my shitty father and Mom’s death? Would she try to fix me even though I wasn’t feeling broken? Would she slap a label on me that maybe didn’t fit just because she couldn’t help herself but as she talked about the techniques she teaches in seminars and such I realised that I am actually not as screwed up; that she is also only a human being with a job and that I am already doing most of the things she suggests to people only I figured them out myself.
I am very in tune with my feelings, my emotions. Saying this about myself seems dumb but it’s the truth. I try to listen to my body as much as possible. I feed it when it’s hungry, I walk it when it needs exercise and so on. I know that exercise releases a lot of chemicals that make you happier and more stable because I’ve lived that for years. This shouldn’t sound like me praising how awesome I am because I’m not but I’m doing things right. I knew this before because I’ve been generally and genuinely happy for weeks and months. I’m doing pretty well and even if I look in the mirror and see the flaws on my body I can look past that and like what I see because I like myself. And this is an important thing.
I learned the hard way that I need constant motion and exercise; that I go mad if I stay still for too long. I can’t concentrated and am in general more moody if I don’t get my regular runs in.
I cherish the hour I spend in the woods without a cell phone or any connection to the online world because I can just ~be~. There’s birds chirping and leaves shuffling in the wind. There’s mud under my feet and wind in my face. I get to feel my heart beating and my lungs working, my muscles burning and sometimes I even stop thinking. My mind gets blank and I simply exist.
Those are all things this woman talked about and how she has to teach them to the stressed out people in this hyper digitalised world. It made me feel good about myself because my own approach to life felt validated. Sometimes you just need external validation even if it comes from an unexpected source; a source you feared would label you a screw up for things beyond your control.
The essence of this? To be honest, I don’t really know. Be yourself. Listen to what your body tells you it needs. Take a mental health day when you feel like you need it. Don’t put people into boxes, especially if that’s what you’re afraid of them doing with you. And maybe most importantly, don’t believe that there is such a thing is normal when it comes to human beings.