Works In Progress

I chose a book at the library recently titled, "Everybody's Normal Till You Get to Know Them" by John Ortberg. By the end of the first chapter, I was totally convinced that no one is normal. We are all slightly irregular. We all have blind spots. We are all works in progress. We each carry an "as-is" tag. None of us announce gladly our flaws. We simply approach people and events, putting our best foot forward and do our very best to shield who we really are; at least until the contract is signed. This is the exact reason why many friendships, business relationships and marital relationships fail - an imperfect person looking for the perfect one. And if we are looking for perfection in ourselves and in others, we will always be grossly disappointed.

Accepting that we are all irregular in some form or another allows us to be open and to better manage our relationships and consequently our lives. Anytime we engage with others and expect them to be normal, we totally resist the reality that, truly they are not. Women especially go into "fix it" mode. We marry someone who we know going in has a lot of issues but we think once we marry them, we can change them, control them and consequently make endless attempts to transform them into what they are not.

We all crave normalcy, view ourselves as normal and do everything we possibly can to make sure everyone in our lives view us as normal. We do everything we possibly can to be likable, even if that translates into compromising ourselves, not following our dreams or pretty much living our entire lives climbing to the top of the ladder only to realize that it's leaning against the wrong wall. We do all this in an effort to control how others see us and wanting to be "normal". I love a quote by one of my favorite writers, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie that says: "It's not your job to be likable. It's your job to be yourself. Someone will like you anyway."

So, let's quit trying to be normal because there is no such thing. It's a tag we can never acquire. Rather, let's focus on being ourselves and letting others be who they are. When we do that, we get the opportunity to allow others to grow in the way they were meant to. We can influence their blind spots and help them see without the pressure of making it a mission to change them. They in turn provide the same for us.

Always remember that "No one is normal. Everyone is just pretending to be normal." Alessandra Torre

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