November 12, 2014

Normal - Day Twelve

Normal. It's elusive these days. Unattainable. Maybe even non-existent.

It would seem as though ever since I entered adulthood I've been swept up into a culture that's pushing back against perfection. "Don't have it all together, can't have it all together, everyone's got issues" kind of world. There's a war being raged against the land that lies just beyond Pinterest, blogs, the filters of Instagram, and at times the church itself. It's a war and it's out to destroy the perception of perfectly put together people. 

And I get it - I appreciate knowing the realness of a person. I think it's important for life to be authentic enough for people to find help when they need it, for there to be freedom to speak if you need to, and to be heard no matter what it is you might say. I think it's essential to not be measured by how clean my house is, how well behaved my kids are, by what I'm wearing or if my hair is done. And I do desperately wish we lived in a world that knew how to better handle tragedy because it's the very real and most vulnerable side of imperfection.

I see the need for all those things and also the places where, at times, they're lacking. But the tide seems to be turning. It's turning so much so, that it's becoming difficult to just be. To just be who you are in the life that you're living. Nothing more and nothing less. Just normal.

Because the thing is: I can no longer have a clean house when a friend comes over because - I should have just been able to show the real me. And I can't have nice things without being asked, "Is it new, or is it just new to you?" because - how could I be so vain? And I can't always show up with make up and real clothes on because - we know all women wear sweatpants, who are trying to be? And the list is endless, but it's real. 

In fighting against the perception of perfect, it's become impossible to just be normal. You'll be pegged as being in one camp or the other, and there's disapproval on both sides. And it shouldn't be that way. We shouldn't be made to give an explanation or make an excuse for the grandness or the smallness of our lives. They just are what they are.  We're all navigating through the same normal called life, taking in the abundant and the lacking all the same, and hopefully trying to use discretion amidst it all. 

Some of us see clothing as an expression of ourselves and an artistic outlet. Some of us could care less and not give it a second thought. Some of us love big birthday parties with beautiful details, and some of us are just happy if we got a cake made. Some of us find work fulfilling and a need, and some of us find mothering all day fulfilling and a need. Some of us function better if the house is clean every night, and some of us get stressed just thinking about trying to tackle the kitchen. Some of us have great days out with our kids, and some of us have things come unraveled before we even get out of the driveway.

And that's just life. Let's lower the walls and let people just be - because we'll find the real person that way. And isn't that all anyone ever wanted to begin with? A real person whether decked out or disheveled. A real person whether well spoken or failing at words. A real person whether organic or generic. We just want to meet the real persons around us, and that happens when we let people be their own style of normal. 


  1. Kelly - I loved this! You put down well what I have been thinking about so much, that there is almost a reverse judgment going on for doing anything a hair above mediocre, that trying hard at anything at all is making others feel bad, and for not just waving the white flag of motherhood and wearing yoga pants all day. I get this a lot being a food blogger, because even though not everyone likes to cook, my blog is geared towards those who do, but I get comments like 'do your kids even eat that?' and 'how do you find the time to cook, my kids won't even let me boil water'. 'Real' and 'Normal' are great terms to use in this conversation. You are right, some people have an outlet doing a kids birthday party, getting dressed, others dinner, others art. We shouldn't tear each other down because we don't value what they like to do. We are all just doing our normal, what makes us happy at our particular season in life. Well said momma!

    1. Sorry for the late reply, Katie. Thanks for stopping to comment. I really do think an "easy up" on everyone would do this world some good!