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Normal is a Dryer Setting

“Normal is a dryer setting.” We hear that a lot don’t we? What does it mean? Is there a normal? What the heck does that look like?

I’m exploring this concept of normal at the moment because I’m being pushed to let go of the things that I do, specifically in my writing style, that keeps me trying to fit in the box they call normal. I’m not that. I’m not supposed to do that. But I don’t know what the heck I’m doing or what that means, so I’m winging it by writing stuff and sharing it with you. You’re going to watch me figure this out through blogs, many of them maybe, over the next little while.

As I shared on social media a minute ago, I never fit in when I was in school. Even now when I go try to socialize with others, I don’t feel like I fit. I guess I feel like I’m hiding something. That’s another concept that’s coming up. But I’m not sure what I’m hiding or from what. I think I know why though, that’s the insecurity and the lack of confidence showing up. What if people don’t like it? Well, they never did before, so what’s the difference now? I’m not losing anything. You know what I mean?

My writing as a kid was creative. It was poetry, plays, scripts, and short stories. They were all based on my life though. They were all based on the experiences I was having at the time and they were all painful because my life was painful back then. I used to imagine a future where I was accepted and okay with myself, where people actually liked me. But that future was based on what people around me thought my life should look like. So it looked like a teaching career, a house with a white picket fence, a husband, and a couple of kids, and maybe a dog. It looked normal because I was trying to fit in. So I tried to make my dreams fit in too.

Wow, that’s a lot of wanting to fit in. When you squish your dreams to make them fit the definition of normal, you know you’re in for a rough road ahead. Just so you understand, the marriage thing failed, I do have the kids, we rent our home, and there is a puppy. As for my teaching career, well I’m doing it, just not the way I was supposed to do it. I was supposed to teach little kids in a classroom. I’m not there in case you missed that memo.

But I still try to make even what I do now fit some definition of normal, but it’s not, nor is it supposed to be. When you live in my world spirits talk to you randomly. Things pop into my head that haven’t even occurred to me and aren’t even based on what I’m thinking about at the moment. I just heard “you dumb your work down” to make it fit in. So, what does that mean?

You’re literally getting a play-by-play of what my world looks like. This is how I function. I get messages or random things in my head. I get guidance and wisdom this way. I try to make the guidance fit. I suppose maybe I dumb it down a little bit to make it not so out there or weird. What would I say if I weren’t trying to put it in a box with a pretty little bow? What would that look like?

It’s not so much dumbing it down as it is watering it down. What would I say if I weren’t watering down the guidance that I get? I’d be a bit more blunt because some of what I get is pretty direct. There is definitely a level of sarcasm and humor that shows up. The sarcasm isn’t about making things smaller or less important, it’s about understanding that healing doesn’t have to be this big serious thing. It’s okay to be a little sarcastic, to joke about it, to play with it, and to not get caught up in the drama of it all the time.

This work that I’m doing in this blog for myself right now, isn’t serious. It’s not tragic. There’s nothing painful happening. It’s just another hurdle. It’s just a new challenge. It’s not a death-defying leap or anything. It’s just me doing what I do. I don’t care that I have to change things. I’m not bothered by this process. It just is. It’s just how it works. I don’t care that I got told I have to change the way I communicate with you. I’m not attached to the fear of change. Sure, I have to get mental clarity around it and that’s kind of what you’re watching, but it’s not some big thing that I need to cry over for days.

I can accept that I hid parts of myself from myself and the world around me. I can accept that I put things away because I didn’t think they fit what other people wanted me to be. That’s my story. That’s the what is of my life. I hid because I was afraid of not being normal. Well, guess what? I’m not normal. Go me! And you know what? I’m totally okay with that.

Yes, some hiding has been pointed out to me. Yes, I will shift it because that’s just what I do. I’m not scared of the new aspects of me that shows up. I’m not scared of the new spin on the story that I tell. I’m not bothered by any of the stuff that might come up because of it. I don’t have to be bothered by it because I’ve learned how to do this. The years of doing this work have made me brave enough to handle my own stuff without fear of what might happen because of it.

I’m not scared of my own emotions. I’m not scared there might be skeletons in the closet. I don’t care about shadows. They show up because I’m willing to accept they are there. I’m willing to grab the vacuum and clean them out. I’m willing to shine the light on them. Very often, the way I shine the light is through this work that I do. I made the choice to do this very publicly and very openly. Part of being more authentic in my work means getting out of trying to be normal, and showing you my shadows and how I’m willing to stare them down is part of the deal. Nothing has ever jumped out of the shadows that I couldn’t handle and that’s not going to change today.

Normal is a dryer setting. If you don’t fit, don’t make yourself fit. Get okay with who you are even if you’re still figuring that part out. Yes, I can share my stories of not fitting in and hiding, and I will. But in the meantime, get okay with doing your own thing because that’s how you’re going to feel better faster.

Love to all.

Laura

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