Last Updated on November 27, 2023

Going beyond normal

Many people waste their whole lives trying to be “normal.”

We try desperately to conform to the norm.

Even when normal isn’t working!

For creative, neurodivergent people, the normal ways just don’t work for us.

But often we keep trying them again and again anyway!

It’s as if our #1 goal in life is to be normal.

Normalizing

Even though I’m not a therapist, sometimes new clients will tell me their problem and then ask, “Is this normal?”

I used to do what therapists do and “normalize.”

I’d say, “Yes, this is normal, lots of people experience this.”

That seems like a nice thing to do, to let people know they are normal.

But a while back I started saying, “How the heck would I know?”

“I’m pretty sure they don’t let normal people become Certified Professional Hypnotists.”

The truth is I’ve never been particularly normal.

I don’t enjoy “normal” topics of conversation.

I don’t like “normal” gender roles.

As it turns out, I’m a fuckin’ weirdo!

And I’m OK with that.

It’s not normal to be exuberantly joyful.

It’s not normal to be excellent in your field.

So why are we trying to be normal anyway?

People Love Weird

Often my creative clients are afraid of “putting themselves out there.”

Sometimes this is because they are afraid of being “too weird.”

My favorite TV show right now is called Bee and Puppycat.

It’s an animated series about a girl who works in a cat cafĂ©.

She gets fired for taking too many naps. (Relatable.)

And then she meets an interdimensional being that looks like a cat but smells like a dog, so she names it “Puppycat.”

To pay her rent, Bee and Puppycat travel through the multiverse doing bizarre temp jobs.

On one job they go to a donut-shaped planet and make donuts that have a wish-fulfilling jewel at their center.

I just love how fuckin’ weird the whole premise of this show is.

I love it because it’s exactly how my brain works too.

I’m constantly thinking up strange scenarios.

I also love that someone made this, a whole team animated and voiced it, and someone presented it to Netflix and gave it money.

The truth is, millions of people love weird.

Weird is Liberating

When we can be our weird, authentic selves, it helps other people realize they are not alone.

Deep down, we are all quite weird.

But we’re all hiding it, out of fear that we will be punished.

So instead, we punish ourselves pre-emptively.

We hide our weird, quirky, amazing selves.

We put on a “normal” mask so we can be safe or loved.

What if it was OK, or even a good thing to be your unique self?

I still struggle with this sometimes too.

But what I know is that all the good stuff in my life has come from being boldly me.

If you’re a creative person, the solutions to your problems will often be “out-of-the-box.”

When we can let go of the goal of normal, we can finally figure out what works for us.

Instead of doing things the hard way, we can do things the easy and fun way!

Because the truth is, it’s weird to enjoy life too.

Here’s to being weird,
~Duff