Friday, March 29, 2013

The New Normal

When I was a kid, I would make up little lies when I'd talk to my friends.  Stuff that I thought would make me fit in, but that didn't really matter.

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 that is what normal people would use this for.

I was obviously an extremely gullible and awkward kid.

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. 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.



  1. I think the fact that some people basically live behind a screen and communicate almost exclusively virtually is part of the problem. Also, social networking definitely can leave people feeling pretty bummed. No one is going to post anything about their failures!

  2. I sure hope that's all normal, because I feel the same way.

    I guess, if they're not normal, at least there's some solace knowing that at least one other person is the same way?

  3. Yes. It's all normal. And whatever you're not willing to type? I bet that's normal, too.

  4. Pretty sure totally normal. Also normal is pretending that none of us have these thoughts & feelings (which....y'know. Leads to having them more).

  5. Pretty sure that's all totally're not alone in thinking/typing all of that!

  6. Don't worry. No matter how old I get, what my relationship status is, I will always call you at random times of the day/night to tell you ridiculous things. I should do that more often ;). I think maybe ppl just feel like they might be bothering other ppl more, the older they get. Other peoples lives seem so "normal" that we dont want to mess them up with our problems, or maybe we dont want to be judged. Work friends are diff, too. They can be really good friends, but I am reserved around them when it comes to very personal stuff (prob a a good thing). Sometimes learning a personal thing about a person makes you see them in a whole new light, and that can be good, or bad. It is just tricky at work. Anyways, it is pretty amazing how similar all people are. Whether you know it or not, your friends, family, and colleagues are all going through challenges in life. You are a really lucky person, but I am even luckier to have you in my life! ps--the toilet paper story is hilarious!

    1. You are an amazing friend!!!!! <3

  7. i learned through a series of grotesquely miserable events at the beginning of last year, that the people who you can trust with your deepest secrets are few and far between. which led me to be reserved, but then i realized that i am me and i am okay with being me. some days are tough, some days are downright miserable, but i look around and what i have in life that i truly need and want and i know that i am on the right track.

    everybody has sad periods. and that is totally okay and normal.

    growing up is tough and i recommend it to no one. but sometimes people surprise you and that's when you know who to trust and who not too.

    i also learned that having surface friends is totally normal.

    oh and toilet paper ads are probably the most confusing things to me. what do bears have to do with toilet paper?

  8. When I was little I watched sesame street, mister rogers neighborhood and my little ponies. However, somehow from the age of 5 to college I didn't really watch any tv. I guess we had one. I just didn't really care so it always felt like I didn't really know what people were talking about and I totally agree with you that college was way better. Finally there were people who got me. However, now even though I watch tv and kinda "know more how to fit in it sometimes feels really dumb and like I just don't care. Obviously this is about way more than tv I was just using you analogy bc it also fir with me, but sometimes I really think I peaked in college.