We recently had visitors in our home for a week. We didn’t realize how different they were from us until they arrived. They are a traveling family and I guess we just assumed there would be a kindred spirit. That we would see life the same way. That they would be normal. But they weren’t. Not at all. Not even close. And it was awkward.
It made me think about what “normal” means. When I met my husband, Matt, for the first time – the one take-away I had from the evening was, “Thank God, he is normal!” I’ve joked about that fact for the past 12 years. We met when I was 32 years old… After 32 years, I had dated my fair share of guys with issues… everything from a stalker that I met at a triathlete happy hour, to “cute-Christian-boy” (the boy who lived behind my apartment who was a little too religious for me despite his attractiveness), to “gay-boy” (who also lived in my apartment complex but I was certain was gay and that everyone else knew he was gay. We always hung out together until one time I thought we were hanging out, but it was a double date with his friends and I freaked out a little because I thought they would think that *I* didn’t know he was gay), to the boy who “didn’t kiss on the first date,” to the friend I had a crush on, but it was not reciprocated, to the friend who had a crush on me, but it was not reciprocated… I seriously thought (and still think) I had won the jackpot by finding someone normal.
Earlier this year in February, we met up with another family who were on the same life trajectory as us…. saving money so they could quit their jobs and travel around the world. The Fites were further along in their travel preparations, but we chatted via emails, Facebook groups, story sharing and texting. We just knew these were our people. Solely through online communication, we decided to meet up with them for a week-long trip to Big Bend National Park. We instantly clicked. We had the best week hanging out with them and their two boys. They were normal! In fact, we created a life-long friendship with the Fites. They have since quit their jobs and are traveling the U.S. in their travel trailer. You can follow their travels at www.FiteInertia.com. They are a great family and we look forward to seeing them again in the spring as they make their way to Texas.
My point is this… we realize we are not normal. Most normal people don’t aspire to quit their jobs, buy a sailboat and sail around the world. It is a finite group. So, what makes our normal better than the houseguests who stayed with us? Who gets to define normal? Do we each just have our own version?
The dictionary defines normal as: “
How do you define normal?