Tag Archives: Question

Lanes

Time to take another break from fiction for today. On my way home from work, I saw a sign that read, “If everything is coming your way, you’re probably in the wrong lane.” The more I thought about it, the more  I realized the depth behind it, as it’s a rather multi-faceted saying. It can apply to both the good and the bad in life.

When most people read or hear the above quote, they most likely think it’s referring to the good things of life. Now, don’t get me wrong. Blessings are wonderful things. And I don’t think many of us would still be here if our lives were only negative, all the time. Positives, I do believe, are a must. But what happens when only positive things come our way?

There’s that saying of “too much of a good thing can be bad.” I believe it. Because, if there’s only good, what do we learn? Most life lessons come from experiencing the bad circumstances. In my opinion, how we face and overcome the negative helps shape who we are and will ultimately become. We learn nothing when only good happens to us.

Another bad thing to only receiving the positive side of life is the false sense of security that comes with it. Unfortunately, we are creatures of habit. We fall into routines. Again, blessings are not bad things, but if we never face trials, we never expect them. If I only have good things come my way, why would I think that anything bad could happen to me? Which also leads us to viewing the world through rose-tinted glasses, and we forget that evil exists.

But then comes the flip side of the above quote. The bad things in life. While the ideal world is a perfect world, I think bad things are a necessary evil at this point. We do reap what we sow. And more often than not, we need that harvest to keep ourselves in check. So what does happen when only negative things come our way?

Well, I think this one is a bit more self-explanatory than the positive side. For the most part, I think the negative experiences are crucial teaching tools. Yet, we’ll never remember what we learn if we’re not given time to rest and reflect. Constantly being berated by life wears us out more than anything. If we lose the mental capacity to live, much less think over situations, we still aren’t going to learn anything.

Another negative to the the negative–it often leads to depression. Whether or not people want to admit it. If there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, why would we continue? Again, creatures of habit. We get stuck. Lost in ruts. To the point where it’s not worth even looking for a way out. It is extremely taxing on the psyche. If I’m only receiving negatives, I’m not going to expect positives, and I’m going to stay where I am. We give up.

Regardless of how we view the above quote, I think it comes down to a few questions. What are we doing that’s keeping us in one lane? Or, what choices are we making that’s keeping us in one lane? What are we choosing that’s keeping us strictly in the positive lane? What are we choosing that’s keeping us strictly in the negative lane? Everything comes down to a choice.

And it’s okay. It’s okay to experience the negative, even if all you’ve known is positive. It’s okay to experience the positive, even if all you’ve known is negative. Sadly, our world is not perfect. But balance can be achieved. Good and bad go hand-in-hand. We just have to choose to find the balance, to stay in the middle of the two lanes.

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Normality

Today, I wish to break from fiction and address a very personal reality. Normality. It’s a subject many shy away from yet try so hard to master. Normal. Many cringe at the word.

The American Heritage College Dictionary defines normal as this: “conforming with, ashering to, or constituting a norm, standard, pattern, level, or type.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary has eight definitons of normal, the most prominent being definition 2a and b: “according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle;” “conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern.” Simplified, society wants us to believe normal is fitting in.

But this poses a question: fitting into what? So let me ask a different question. What even is “normal?” Is there even a “normal?” Truthfully, the answer is no. Why? Because everyone has their own definition of “normal,” their own standard. What’s normal to one person may seem odd to the next. For instance, some may think pink is a normal favorite color. I think pink is hideous, and lime green is a normal favorite color. Others will say lime green is hideous, and black is a normal favorite color. Do you see where I’m going with this?

Frankly, “normal” is an out-of-date cliche people use as an excuse to give up on being themselves. How many of us have done something because we thought it would make us “normal?” Whether it be trying a new style, adopting new phrases, becoming someone different, etc. That brings the next question.

Why are we so afraid to be ourselves?

We need to open our eyes. When we gain the acceptance of “normal,” we lose our identity. The identity that is unique to us and us alone. You can hate me for saying this, but acting “normal” is living a lie. And don’t take me for being self-righteous or condescending. I’m only trying to convey the truth.

I’m not immune. I fall into society’s grasp everyday. I can’t tell you how many times I haven’t done or said something because I didn’t want people to think I’m weird. I want to fit in, too. Yet, I want everyone to know I’m not “normal.” It’s always been a struggle. A fine line to balance. All my life, I’ve tried to go against the flow. Purposefully displayed myself as different. And I’ll be honest. Being defiant against society’s mold has its costs.

I’ve grown up with only two or three close friends. I struggled with depression for more years than I should have. I cried myself to sleep almost every night, wondering what was wrong with me. One night, my dad asked me what was wrong. I confessed that I desired to be normal. He merely looked at me and asked why. I was shocked for several moments, then lamented about my lack of friends. He then asked if I wanted people to like a fake me or a real me.

I ponder his words to this day. And it only brings me back to the beginning. Is there even a “normal?” On deeper reflection, maybe there is. But a different kind of normal. A normal that’s true to ourselves, not the “normal” society holds over our heads. As long as we conform to ourselves and follow our own pattern. Only we can decide who we are going to be. This brings me to my final question. Are you going to follow society’s “normal,” or are you going to set a precedent for your own kind of normal that only you can follow?


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