I remember telling my best friend in 3rd grade that after dinner every night we would eat a cake.
Because that's what I thought other families did. I remember her being like "Really?? You eat a cake EVERY night?". Then I backed out of my lie, saying it was only every now and then. She accepted my change of story. I was just trying to try to be "normal".
I also remember panicking when seeing the packaging for toilet paper at the grocery store. They featured pictures of a lot of babies on them, usually laying on a roll of toilet paper to show how soft they were. You know, the Angel Soft brand. I thought, WTF is my family doing using this toilet paper for this disgusting purpose after we use the bathroom when really it's supposed to be a pillow for babies.
I figured, making pillows for babies....now that is what normal people would use this for.
I'm not exactly sure why I always felt a little out of the loop. I grew up mostly without a TV which I'm sure led to a little bit of the awkward feeling due to zero knowledge of pop culture of the time. I am still confused when people bring up stuff like Saved By The Bell and other shows, although I've tried to watch reruns so that I can understand what people are talking about.
By the time I got to college, I realized this whole "making stuff up to fit in" technique didn't work that well. I decided that I was going to say whatever I felt, at exactly the time that I felt it. It actually worked pretty well. I made a lot of friends that I feel truly close to. There's nothing like a drunken conversation at 3 AM with a friend to pour your heart out.
The part that I struggle with now is adulthood. You can't just run around saying exactly what you want as an adult. I mean...assuming you want to have a job and a place to live. Which I do. In fact, I just wrote a post a couple weeks back telling people in their twenties to essentially control themselves and act mature and plan for shit. Which tends to yield results.
But...in this moment, I feel frustrated.
Is it normal to feel frustrated?
It's hard to know because I feel like the real communication I used to have with people becomes more and more difficult as you get older. I don't stop by a best-friend-at-work's desk just to shoot the shit and tell them about random stuff on my mind and listen to them because we both care too much about getting shit done at work to talk.
Because productivity gets you a lot more in life than talking about your feelings. We have responsibilities.
I have no idea what people's romantic relationships are like because people are either 1) Married and in that secret contract where they don't really share details of their relationship anymore 2) Too busy or 3) More interested in telling you how fucking great brunch was on Instagram.
So it's hard to know if daily frustrations, struggles, and pure happiness you have are common.
It's hard to know if the random feelings of jealousy that I have when someone does something awesome are normal, or just make me an asshole.
It's hard to share things that are secrets that you're not proud of because maybe your friends would be mad. Or think less of you. And say that you're too old not to know better.
It's hard to know if you're just being an ungrateful asshole for being minorly dissatisfied with so many areas of life when in reality, you are so freaking lucky.
And of course...other feelings that I'm not willing to type on a public blog. Because I'm embarrassed. And I don't want you to think less of me.
I've heard that if you think you might be crazy, you're not. Maybe that's true. Maybe no matter how good you have it when tallying up random check marks on a sheet, we're sometimes going to feel a little directionless, scared about the future, and desperately hoping we're making the right choices.
I imagine these are normal feelings. But who really knows.