What is Normal?

Each of us is different to everyone else. Similar in many ways but unique overall. Yet, essentially, human beings are social animals who enjoy one another’s company and thrive better together. Within this we accommodate our differences and try to get on with each other. As our numbers have increased and the resultant society grown more complex, we have set up systems, laws and what have you to try to keep the good ship “Homo Sapiens” afloat. It is proving to be an ever more difficult task.

Yet, while this goes on around me, my own life is becoming more “normal”. You see, as someone, who would now have been treated as a “disturbed” child, by definition, I wasn’t “normal”. Indeed, I relished my difference and used it to identify myself. It was me.  Yet, some years ago, I remember being asked what I really wanted and my response was, indeed, “Normal”. When I was asked to describe that state, my response to that question was “Doreen and Bill”, the aunt and uncle who rescued me. That answer came completely from my subconscious and was all the truer for it.

I now have a “Doreen and Bill” relationship and my life is the better for it to a considerable degree. In our case, though, I am what Doreen was; someone her grandson described in the nicest possible way, as “barmy”. My wife, Gaynor, fills the “Bill” role of steady, stoic and reliable with an understated and mischievous sense of humour. Yet, as our relationship continues, the quiet one is becoming less so. Occasionally, even a little Victor Meldrew like. While the original Victor in the relationship is becoming less judgemental and less “different”.

This normality, nice though it is, is taking some getting used to. To be honest, it can be a little uncomfortable. What it isn’t doing, though, is lessening my perseverance and drive; both of which were, I thought, aspects of my “difference”. It’s nice to know that they aren’t.

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