I feel like I have heard this term more and more lately as I have gotten older. It seems to pop up at every milestone in life. Get married, a new normal. Have kids, a new normal. Each child’s milestone, a new normal. Then there are the new normals that happen unexpectedly. Loved one passes away results in a new normal. Tragic accident which changes your life creates a new normal. All of these moments in our lives all have one thing in common. They all force us into a different way of doing things, but does that make it normal?
What about anything anyone does is normal? What makes the aftermath of this x-factor normal? Life after a more common rite of passage I can see being shuffled in with what society constitutes as normal, but what categorizes the subsequent life we must lead following a tragedy? Who deems the shift in our lifestyles as meeting some societal standard of the status quo?
What follows after an event literally rocks your world and forces you to continue in a different manner than you were before would never be considered normal to the one experiencing it, but somehow, they will follow along to try and make it morph into what the world around them expects to see.
I say, screw it. Nothing about life is normal. Nothing about our existence on this planet is normal. If it were, we’d all be clones without a mind of our own. In all of God’s infinite wisdom, he gave us each our on willpower, thus our own minds, our own feelings and intelligence. I refuse to believe that any response we may have to any life altering scenario could be constituted as normal.
How about instead of trying to classify a reaction, we just support each other’s coping mechanisms and lend a hand to those in need? How about instead of expecting someone to reach some made up standard following such an event, we allow them to reach a place in their lives where they again feel like themselves albeit wiser from the experience?
Normal is such a relative, fake word, devoid of real meaning. Maybe the phrase should just be a new chapter in life, but I guess that is just the author in me.