“Why can’t I just be normal?”
This is a phrase that enters my mind a lot more than it should…
There are some times when I would rather stay home than hang out with friends and I think to myself, “Why can’t I be a normal teenager who ALWAYS seems to enjoy being around people?”
When I look into the mirror and I’m not loving what I see, I think to myself, “Why can’t I look like a normal teenager?”
When I don’t want to do anything after school because my energy is drained, I say to myself, “Why can’t I attend extra-curriculars, one after the other, like a normal teenager?”
There are so many aspects of myself that I have felt are “wrong”. For starters, I am an introvert. Being introverted does not mean I am “anti-social”, or that I hate hanging out with people. I did some research on the feelings I experience, and what I learned makes so much sense. I enjoy being alone sometimes, but I also love hanging out with people. I learned, however, that being introverted does not mean that I’m “shy”. In fact, many people I know might tell you the complete opposite (even though others do think I’m shy…) Being introverted simply means that my energy is depleted when I am with others for extended periods of time, and my energy is replenished when I’m alone. That is why it’s hard for me to go from school and straight to extra-cirriculars, or to hang out with friends for a prolonged amount of time.
In addition, I deal with anxiety and depression. When I do, I say to myself, “Seriously, Jillian, no one deals with this stuff! Everyone is always happy and chill, so why can’t you just stop worrying and start being joyful?”
Although all teenagers don’t deal with emotional issues at our age (I’m pretty sure everyone does at some point in their life time however), I am learning that there are many who actually do deal with them, and that none of us are as alone as we think we are. I’ve always felt different, though, as though I’m the only one.
When a big group chat is being sent out about plans and everyone responds something like, “Yeah, that sounds good”, and I’m just not feeling good to go out that day, I feel abnormal for saying, “No, I can’t today,” when I am actually physically able to, just not mentally.
I have often hated these things about me. Like seriously, Jillian, why can’t you just be NORMAL? Well, I now understand that these are the cards I’ve been given, and that my life is like this for a reason.
What even IS normal? I’m guessing that anything considered standard becomes the “norm”, but if you think about it, the concept of “normal” really doesn’t even exist. We are all original and unique…somewhere deep down beneath our desire to fit in and all of our insecurities, we are all our amazing, unique selves! There shouldn’t be a certain way that we should all act or look. Now I always try to remember that, yes, I am different… but so is everyone living on this beautiful planet. We are all different!
So, remove the word “normal” from the conversations that you have with yourself. Rock the awesome YOU that you are! I believe that embracing our true selves will guide us to self-realization, happiness, and confidence.
Forget about being normal. Just be you!