Today’s prompt is Ballerina Fireman Astronaut Movie StarBallerina, Fireman, Astronaut, Movie Star. It asks this: When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up? What are you now? Are the two connected?
Normal. What is normal? I didn’t know. But I sure wanted to be that—whatever it was. I wanted to blend in, to become as invisible as possible, and to be a chameleon. As far as I was concerned, invisible was normal. If I could have melted into the wall, I would have in an instant. I didn’t know it then, but I am an introvert. I read this blog a couple days ago. It could have been me who’d written it.
My childhood was weird and I felt like I was always the center of everyone’s attention. Teachers thought I was smart but I did not work to my full potential, so they threw me into the spotlight often. Put me on the spot, as they say (whoever “they” are.) My teachers meant well and I continued to put myself front and center because I knew that was an expected behavior. My parents loved me in their own way and they put me on a pedestal above all else, including my brother. (He hates me now, possibly stemming from my unwanted pedestal.) Kids at school thought I was a weirdo. I didn’t know how to properly socialize and said weird crap when I did. Friends came and went. We moved and moved and moved again. My best friend got in a car accident and wasn’t in any of my classes anymore. I couldn’t connect. The times when I expressed my desire to be normal, Dad told me I should hate “normal” and that it was not an acceptable aspiration.
I have wanted to be normal my whole life. What I didn’t know was that normal is really just a place where I get to be who I am without judgment or consequence. Today, I am my own version of normal. I find that it truly is an acceptable aspiration. I live how I want with who I want in a cold, old house surrounded by cool neighbors who sometimes give me beer. I cook great meals and ruin pie crust every, single time. I battle hordes of dirty laundry. I like normal.