Summer 2009 Retreat

Summer 2009 Retreat

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Yania Escobar - Normality

It is pretty refreshing to see stereotypes referred to as myths. I have often been and seen others be compared against these myths, and it can be very painful. The mythical norm can lead people to live in a constant chase of what is accepted that will never be completely fulfilled. It is impossible to ever be normal because it is not an attainable human condition. Even when one feels that normality has been achieved, this norm can change and even if one changes with the norm, there is still a feeling of discontent. Happiness cannot be reached by seeking a tangible thing or status, it is only by letting go of these preconceptions and changing only for oneself that happiness can really develop.
In the United States, there are infinite norms that keep people constantly doubting their human emotions and actions and altering their behavior in a way that will be acceptable to everyone else. One broad example is the way we must speak to each other. I have never encountered so many euphemisms and fake speech as when I moved to this country. People are constantly checking what they say as to not to offend or hurt anyone. Of course this is not necessarily always bad, it is nice to take other’s feelings into account, but it would be nice to really free our speech a little more. Saying “that is interesting” when we mean “I dislike that” is a little too far, and this is something I have done to fit the norm.
I feel like I have been told I am weird more times than I can count, and I make it a mission to defy the norm. It can sometimes be hurtful, especially when I was in high school, for people to “ok…?” me and tell me I was not normal. I think my mission statement was titled defining my normality or something like that. In high school I became really interested in redefining norms for myself and allowing them to morph as needed. Now I have taken a step further and have not thought about it seriously in a couple of years. I am trying to get rid of definitions about myself altogether, because there is no such thing as “myself.” I have started to realize how different I can be in any given moment, and I embrace that wavering phenomenon.
Even if we were able to define normal one second, it would have to be re-defined completely the next. I am glad I can now stop thinking about what is normal for a little while because it is starting to feel absurd <3.

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