I reckon I've been pretty good at this lately. I've been talking to all the right people, saying all the right things, being the right balance of friendly. I've been considerably normal, and I must say, it is a good feeling. Being normal.
But am I really happy? Is this the right way to view life?
The other day this guy gave a talk at my school about drugs and alcohol and that kind of thing. He made a really valid point about how we're all programed to think that every teen does it, and that drinking and doing drugs is 'normal'. The media is always talking about teen alcohol problems. The movies always depict teenagers going to parties, or 'gathos' as we apparently like to call it. But we all know it's bad for you. We all know you're ruining your brain at 15. I can't even pinpoint a positive reason why anyone would want to do drugs or alcohol. So then why do people do it? It's because they think it's 'normal', they think it's 'cool', they want to conform to society, and I'm certainly hoping my conformity never goes that far. Honestly though, looking at my grade of private school girls, the majority of us are pretty good. Normal.
I would say I have two types of friends. There are those who care a lot about conformity. And there are those who don't give a f*ck.
Today I went to the boys' fete with two people of the former. They are always seemingly self conscious, caring so much about popularity and what they say. When we saw three other girls from our grade, one of which my friend had been bragging about being really good friends with, she immediately turned us around and headed in the other direction. My other conforming friend did the same, while we just followed. Later when we asked why we just wasted our time walking away, she said, "Oh. I didn't want it to be awkward because I would've said hi and you guys would've been just standing there. I didn't wanna be rude to you guys." For freakin sake they're just people. And it's not like I've never had a conversation with any of them, and even if I hadn't, it would be fine. People talk to people. We're all equal and if she feels self conscious with her 'friend' she should just say so.
They also talk about certain things, such as formals, or working out, or eating healthy, or parties, or the connections they have. And you know what? It gets boring. So so boring. And if, shock horror, I accidentally say something random, it's judgemental looks galore. They don't like certain people, they don't like sitting with certain people, they're like an exclusive little group. But you know what? They're not really a group either. Sure, they're friends, but the trademark quality of people who love conforming, is that there's a fifty fifty chance they'll ditch each other for someone 'more popular'.
But what about those people who care so so much, but have a serious lack of social skills. They're the ones I pity because no matter what they'll never be happy with their otherwise awesome selves. I've heard remarks like, "well who wouldn't wanna be popular?" Tell you what, if you want to be popular so bad, go be it. Go get in with 'the crowd'. It's not all that hard. After all, the people you think are the best form of 'normal' are equal to you. You're the one putting them on that pedestal. They're equal to you, but simply like different things, or aren't compatible as friends, which is why you're not friends with them in the first place. The friends you have now are the right people for you. Because you found them and they found you, and you guys have the funniest conversations.
Which brings me to those other friends. The ones who don't care.
Actually, there's not much to say about them really, besides the fact that they're awesome to hang out with, and don't care who they hang out with (to a certain extent), and are generally more liked by the school population anyway, which is ironic.
But here's the big question. What am I?
Judging myself a year ago, I was such a conformer. I cared so much. But now?
I guess you can say I'm working on it. Sometimes I still do care who I'm seen with, and I try hard to fit in, be 'normal'. But I guess the reason I feel more 'normal' now is that I care less. I don't care as much what people think of me. I think the value of a conversation is a lot more important than being seen with a particular person. It's weird that I could ever think otherwise.
I don't want to care but I think we all do. Even those people who act as if they don't. They do. It's fighting the urge to conform that counts. It's seeing through that and finding what you really want behind that curtain of wanting to be 'normal'.
We're all people with different experiences. We don't know anyone else's but our own. So technically, 'normal' doesn't exist.