After much deep thought and consideration, I have come to the conclusion that I am not normal. I know, everyone says that. It's like "the thing" to do these days. Claim you aren't normal. Everyone is doing it so by default I suppose everyone is, in fact, normal.
But this goes a little deeper than that. My general oddities are well... odd. I don't say I'm not normal in the sense that I'm some totally unique individual. I'm a rather boring individual. There are probably hundreds like me out there.
That's a rather frightening thought actually. Some days, I drive myself insane. I feel great sympathy for anyone that must deal with me on a normal basis... if I had to deal with more than me, a leap from a bridge and the load that will inevitably land in my undies long before I hit the water or ground or whatever happens to be beneath said bridge begins to look almost appealing (though, no worries folks; suicide takes too much time and effort and is relatively pointless to my way of thinking and I don't have time for pointless, no energy for effort, and generally detest pointless shit so I won't do myself in).
But, there probably are others out there like me, as I said. And so, I have to say they are equally as odd and not normal as I am. Not that it's a bad thing, just... odd.
Take for instance, my overwhelming desire to help people. I love making people's lives better. It's what I do. It's what I love. Doing something for someone else just for the hell of it, is great. I love surprising people with things, writing a note to say hello and offer encouragement, agreeing to some massive project to ease someone else's workload, volunteering countless hours of time to work alongside other people that have a desire to reach out and assist yet other people.
But, despite my insane love of helping people, I don't like people. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate everyone. In fact, there are quite a few people I absolutely adore. But that still leaves several billion that I can't be bothered with. I'm indifferent to most people. I'll help them with whatever they need help with, but I don't particularly want to know them or spend time with them. They can contact me from afar and I will do what I have to do and let them know when I'm finished. I don't want to be buddies with most people. I don't want to share feelings with most people. In fact, I would rather like to yell dumbass and be done with most people.
People bug me. I mean really irritate the piss out of me. I actually think that at times my indifference to people is more of a defensive mechanism than anything. I don't want to turn into some homicidal maniac and as often as people irritate me with pointless crap, that looks like a good option some days (not that I would do it. I also have an overly active conscience and I prefer to avoid giving it something else to hold over my head). So, I just don't bother with them. Saves me time, sanity and a prison cell.
But, I got to thinking about it at work last night and aside from being a defensive mechanism to not turn into an axe wielding maniac, indifference to people gives me a little more freedom. I can be a bitch at times. I try not to be, but every so often I go into bitch phase and spend a few days saying incredibly snarky things. It relieves the irritation that most people give me, I suppose.
And then of course, I feel guilty that I was a bitch. But that's rather beside the point. Not liking people gives me a little more freedom to not give a shit what most people thing of me or how they feel toward me. I rather like that aspect of it. I care what I think about myself and my actions (which is where the entire guilty conscience comes in), but most everyone else can suck it, choke on it. Whatever.
Society as a whole spends far too much time worrying about what others will think. Will someone be angry if I say that Bush is an asshat? Will my friend think me cruel if I tell her she looks like hell? Will the people in the store remember me as the girl that told the rude cashier to shove the cell phone up her ass? Is it okay if I'm an environmentalist, will people accept that? Will people accept if I renounce my religion, announce that I'm gay, and wear clothes only on Tuesdays?
Honestly, who cares? Why spend your life worrying about others will think when the only one who really matters is you? You're the only person you must live with day in and day out. The only one that you must go to sleep with and wake up with. The one who knows you better than anyone else. Is it going to weigh on Tom's conscience if you tell Jenny she needs to stop being such a whore? Five years from now is the highlight of someone's life going to be that you told the cashier to get off the damn phone and do her job?
Probably not. So why waste the time and energy paralyzed by fear that someone isn't going to like you, love you, absolutely adore you? If we spent even a quarter more time actively doing things than we do actively obsessing over what someone else thinks, we might solve the problems we want to solve. But, we can't do that.
We're too busy obsessing over whether our idea is "good enough" that we forget to put that idea forth. Where's the progress in that?
It doesn't matter if you don't have a degree in political science, if your opinion isn't as well formed as someone else's. It doesn't matter if you're a bitch, have a guilty conscience, like people or just like to please people. What matters is what you do.
And right now, we don't spend nearly enough time doing. I would like to propose a little challenge. At least once a week, stop worrying what other people will think and just do what you want to do, whether it's chaining yourself to a tree with the crazy environmentalists, telling your friend she could do better than the loser boyfriend she has, or running naked around your bedroom singing show tunes. Use the time you would normally spend obsessing over whether or not your behavior, thoughts or attitude is acceptable by societal standards and just do whatever it was that had you obsessing. Why can't I do that?
Chances are, people will accept it. They might not always agree, they might not always like you, they might even calling you a pea brained twit, but who cares? They don't have to live inside that pea brain. You do. Why not make the most of that existence and do what you want to do because you want to do it, not because it will make others happy?
For me, helping other people without becoming everyone’s best friend makes me happy. And that makes me odd. It’s normal to obsess over other people… what they think, how they feel, especially when it is about you. It’s not normal to not care and do what you want to do because of how you think and how you feel about you.
I don’t always make decisions I like. I’ve talked about a certain someone rather cruelly and quite a lot, recently. That bugs me quite a lot. And it is not because she will ever know, or because others will frown upon my behavior, but because I frown upon it. I don't like talking, yet alone talking about someone yet alone talking about someone badly.
I’m not that person and yet… I’ve let myself become that because I ignored the little voice that whispered the first time. And I kept on ignoring it, until it slapped me in the face and said Congratulations. You’ve become exactly what you dislike. The person who finds it easier to break a promise to herself not to talk about another than to be the person who keeps the promise to herself. Self doesn’t like the words self used. But self kept on using them. It was easier. Lazy Fuck.
We wish to solve the world’s problems, and yet… we’re too scared to even solve our own by being the people we really are instead of the people everyone wants us to be. It is easier to ignore the voice and stay the course than it is to dive out of the vehicle and push it. But pushing it is where it’s really at. It’s there that we examine what we want, what we need, and decide who we really are.
I don’t see anyone else in my car. It’s just me and my nagging conscience making that journey we call My life.And we have miles and miles and miles to go. Alone nonetheless.