I’m just checking in real quick before I head to work, but I had a thought today. Dr K sparked this one, but it’s something that got me thinking back to a process I’ve gone through to redefine “normal”.
I am at a point where a differentiation between common and normal happens on a regular basis. Just because it’s common to be unhappy doesn’t mean it’s normal. Our default is happy. Just because it’s common to be down on your body doesn’t mean it’s normal. Our bodies are awesome–we should love them! Just because it’s common to be injured, sick, feeling blah doesn’t mean it’s normal. We should feel amazing–our default is health!
This kind of thing.
For a long time I worried that I wasn’t “normal” yet. That my eating and exercise habits were still out of whack after my eating disorder.
I thought eating things people would eat at dinner time in the morning made me “weird”…
I thought maybe it wasn’t normal to want to spin in the morning (and loving every minute of it) and do crossfit in the afternoon. Or that it wasn’t normal to be excited that we were doing Fran with burpees instead of pullups. Normal or not, the excitement was stupid. Ouch.
But the truth is, just cuz these things aren’t common doesn’t mean they’re not normal. Deciding that something needs to be “normal” sets you up for living according to what someone else says you should be doing. This goes for how you should exercise. How you should eat. How you should spend your money. Etc. etc. the list goes on.
The truth is, you decide what’s normal. Start doing what you really want to do, what really works, and what really feels good and there’s no need to worry about whether it’s normal or not. Regardless of whether everyone else is doing something, living on your own terms is normal–at least if you want to be happy! Somewhere along the line we get lost and look outside of ourselves to be told what we should be doing. It’s easy to assume that what’s common is normal, but when society is out of whack (and I think we can all agree that especially when it comes to health and happiness, the general population isn’t doing so well…), that’s a really dangerous assumption. It also takes the responsibility off of you and lets someone else dictate what you do. It’s nice then to blame something outside yourself if you end up unhappy, a failure, unsuccessful, whatever. But the honest truth is, it’s always up to you!
When I was a kid, I had a huge poster in my room with a dalmation on it. The spots on the dog were rainbow stripes and the cheesy tagline was “Dare to be different.” I have long since gotten rid of the poster, but I keep a card on my wall to remind me…
It’s not a surprise that this thing caught my eye today and it’s not a surprise that the less I’ve cared about what other people are doing and started taking ownership of what I’m doing, the happier I’ve been. It’s a hell of a lot easier to like yourself when you’re answering to you…
Moral of the story (I’m going to be late for work): Dare to be different. Common isn’t normal. Take responsibility for yourself.