"That makes you look stupid."
"You don't want to look stupid do you?"
Over the last few years I've had all of those things said to me. Because, you know insulting someone to get them to conform to your expectations is the best way to make people feel good about themselves right? And I get it, I do, sometimes people said these things with the best of intentions. They were trying to help me fit in. To be "normal." And for a long time that was something that I wanted.
Growing up I was the quiet, shy kid, which meant that people didn't know what to do with me other than I didn't fit in. I was with the art crowd in college, although I was still a bit on the outside because I was an art education major so for a time I wasn't a "real artist," but I at least had people to trust and be with. Then I started dealing with depression and anxiety, and well...I'll just say that apparently some in that community feel that there should be a "normal" way of dealing with both of those things. And god help me when I was diagnosed as being on the Asperger's spectrum, I was told that I needed to work harder to fit back in and do my best to be normal.
And there were times I went with it. Because I mean lets be honest here, we all want to fit in most of the time. To be comfortable in our own skins. To belong. To be "normal."
But over the last several months I've realized that the entire idea of being "normal" is complete and utter and absolute bullshit. Normal doesn't exist, at least not the way we keep trying to assign it on a societal level. Every person has their own level of what they consider normal. Of where our moods should be, of how we should feel, of how we should look, etc. But this should never be considered a measuring point for anyone else. Ever.
Its time that we stop shoving people in boxes and telling them that can only be "normal" if they conform and fit in that box. It's time that we stop talking about what "normal" is and encourage people to be comfortable in their own skins. To find their own level of where they feel right by their standards, not society.