If I could remove one word from the English language, it would be “normal.”
That one little word gives so many people so much grief. “Am I normal?” “Is this normal?” “I just want to be normal.” But I’ve never met one person who was actually happy because they were normal. All the happy, confident, well-adjusted people I know are people who embraced the things that made them odd.
When I get messages asking me if it’s normal to feel or be a certain way, it always makes me feel torn: I want to reassure the asker that they are okay and there’s nothing wrong with them, but on the other hand, I want to tell them, “Fuck normal, be you! Being your weird self is so much more fulfilling!”
The word “normal” carries an implicit value judgment: it says, “typical or common, and therefore good, satisfactory, or desirable.” It says that a person must be like other people in order to be good enough. It says that if you aren’t normal, there’s something wrong with you, something inside you that deserves to be despised and mocked. That’s one of the most arbitrary and disgusting concepts I can imagine.
I’ve never met a “normal” person. And most of the people I met who tried to be normal just wound up hating themselves. By accepting that “normal” was a valid concept, they set an impossible standard that they could never achieve. Even if they could have done it, they still wouldn’t have been happy, because it would have required them to reject the parts of themselves that made them unique and wonderful.
I’ve never met a normal person, but I have met good people. Good people can be popular or friendless, healthy or sick, happy or miserable. Most of them don’t even realize how good they are. It’s not terribly difficult to be good; all it takes is treating other people with kindness, patience and respect. That’s something anybody can do.
I’d rather hang out with a good person than a normal person any day.