Cancer Diaries
Comments 3

What is normal?

I have for quite some time, tried to understand the term “normal”.   We speak of “normal” regularly. It’s seems to have become a benchmark, reflected both positively and negatively.

Teenagers scream to their internal selves wanting to be ‘normal’, as their young bodies and minds go through the changes and unknowns of their adolescence years. If they struggle to fit the ‘normal’ mold, then they may break away in forms of rebellion searching for their own ‘norm’. This may cause headaches for the parents of said teens, however, maybe there’s a special fire within those ones, because they’re setting out to find what fits for them.

We as adults, critique ourselves, also wanting to be normal when life seems anything but that (particularly behind closed doors).

[Yes, even the smiley, chatty, friendliest of your friends you may have, will at some point be struggling with issues you know nothing about… because they want to appear ‘normal’… we’ve all been that person, saving face despite reality.]

When we are striving for a formula of normal, it’s so amusing because everyone’s perception of this very word is so diverse. Who are we “normalising” against?

Normal became a very powerful word to me when I was going through cancer treatment and the after effects. I think that many of you will agree, when life is out of control and you are buried so deep in despair or grief, times of hardship or ill health – whatever it may be, whatever adversity you have faced. You eventually feel like you are gasping for air whilst holding on for dear life. In times like these, you are not steering the ship, you are not calling the shots and you most certainly are not the administrator of your own life. You are at the whim of whatever has bowled you over, or the matter to which is causing you distress. We sure as hell know, during these times of upheaval, uncertainty and harsh unpredictable reality… life is anything but normal.

During these times of ill health I would see social media comments of friends who were bored and sick of their normal day-to-day routine. Or I would ask someone how he or she was doing, or what’s been happening? Only to receive a glum and un-enthusiastic response >>insert sour face<<:

“Oh nothing, just the usual, you know… same old, same old.”

“Pretty boring really, nothing exciting – just the ‘norm’.”

I never in a million years thought that I would crave ‘normal’ more than anything else on earth… But I did, when I was sick and frightened.

By definition, normal means to conform to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.

Huh!?! – Still confused…. Still don’t know what the true definition actually is? That definition is not measurable, it’s not scientific… you would then have to define the words ‘usual’ or ‘regular’, only more words with an “open to interpretation meaning.”

So amongst my usual ponderings, (see, I told you my mind never stops on my Home Page) I decided to come up with my own definition:

“You can only normalise what you’re willing to accept”.

Craft your own ‘normal’ based on your individual benchmarks, not based on others, not based on society or expectation. Create a normal that feels like home. Remember to bear in mind, that normal will require an extension of acceptance from time to time, when the waves of life wash upon your shore.

‘Acceptance,’ well… that’s another topic in itself – stay tuned for that one.

Bec x

P.S – What does normal mean to you?

3 Comments

  1. Emma McLachlan says

    Hi Bec, I’m loving this. You seem to be saying exactly what was going through my mind. “Normal” for me was something I could control. I went to work because it was “normal”, I knew how to deal with it, on a broad scale scale, what would happen when i was there. When I lost my Mum, a friend said to me “You will never be normal again. You have to make a new normal”. Starong words, which I also took with me through my cancer journey. In saying that, if you asked me now what is nomal? I have no idea. Get through the hour, the day, the week, plan something exciting and constantly hope!
    Thanks for blogging, I really enjoy reading it.
    Em x

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    • Hi Em, thanks so much for your thoughts and feedback. We certainly share so many sentiments of life experience that’s for sure. I’m glad you enjoy reading x

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  2. Hi Em,
    Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment. New normal is the key isn’t it?! A new normal is bringing it back to ourselves and ensuring we feel at least a tiny shred of control in a seemingness powerless situation. Bite size pieces was exactly how I looked at it too. Hope you continue to like my content. Feel free to share my blog whenever you like something. Must be coffee time soon… such busy lives we lead 🙂 Bec xxx

    Like

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