Normal Creeps In

In college I cut my hair short, dyed it dark red, wore only vintage clothing, ate a vegetarian diet and rode a Red Schwinn cruiser to my music classes, and challenged my religious up-bringing. I'm a person who has to do things "differently" than the masses. Not that there aren't others out there (and plenty of them) like me. I just don't want to fall into the category of "normal". I don't think any of us really do, but maybe that's just my perspective.

Recently I've noticed life looking more and more normal, and I've found myself looking for ways to shake things up. As I go along, though, normal just keeps creeping in. Whomever he is. My wardrobe has lost it's "vintageness" and my hair is long and brown. My house is full of normal colors and normal dishes and furniture. I don't ride my Red Schwinn any more and I even eat normal food at normal restaurants.

In my dream last night I was wearing striped tights and my black mary janes from college. (I had other clothes, but I didn't notice them.) My students were totally freaked out by my abnormal appearance, but I was loving life. I felt unique again. I need to get out of normal land. It helps that I'm teaching Dr. Seuss to my 2nd grade students. He's not "normal" and he gives me ideas that aren't predictable.

I know the word all on its own is just plain offensive to some people. You're not supposed to tell children to "just act normal" and if you do you're in trouble. The good thing is I don't want my students to be "normal". I want them to be creative and expressive. I want them to learn how to think and solve problems. The quandry is that it makes things messy in a classroom. If everyone is being "abnormal" you don't get much done.

I'm on a quest....a keep normal out quest. It will have to happen slowly because I can't let myself rock the boat too dramatically or I'll get scared. I guess that's how normal got here in the first place!!


  1. Ah, Heather! I remember vintage, Schwinn, red-headed you...she was great. But you know what? You are still every bit as great and unique now as you were then. Maybe your physical appearance is more "normal", but you are still very 'un-normal' to me. I know what you mean though, about 'normal creeping in' and it scares/bothers/ponders me too. Teaching is a great profession for someone like you...who takes the time to think about the best way to express yourself and teach your students to do the same. I admire you, Heather - for your normal and un-normal-ness! What a GREAT post – I’m glad other people think about this like I do – and it doesn’t surprise me that YOU are that ‘other person’. LYF.

  2. I love how you changed colors with each paragraph in this post - just to accent your point. Perhaps that's what blogging has done for me - it has made me that although my life is somewhat "normal" it is still unique to me. And really, what is normal????

    Thank you for encouraging your students to be themselves - that truly is a gift.

  3. I love you both! Thank you for your points of view. It is true that we are still who we are no matter how we look from the outside. As I've thought about this more over the past few days I've realized that I think it's a sign of maturity to be less concerned with expressing to everyone else around me (via clothing and other material goods) that I am unique and being more comfortable with just knowing it myself. I think this is a challenge for many women.

  4. I think you summed it up perfectly Heather; part of maturing is not needing to prove how unique you are with your clothing (and other material possessions) because not only do you know it your uniqueness yourself, others can feel it when they are near you.


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