I have never found any excitement in normalcy.
I grew up in a suburban home on a cul-de-sac, with standard black mail boxes, and perfectly mowed lawns. My house was beautiful and clean, with its Pottery Barn rooms filled with fake plants and potpourri, but I never felt quite right living there. Everything felt standard and Beaver Cleaver, which did not fit my somewhat eccentric tastes.
I remember at a young age, I would turn my plastic doll house upside down and fill it with water, because I thought the regular position it stood in wasn’t as enjoyable. I threw my dolls into the water and pretended that they were a family of merpeople, as opposed to the typical “American Dream” family advertised on the commercials. My mother wasn’t too pleased with the mess I made or the fact that I drew gills and fish scales on many of my toys, but that wasn’t the last time I played with my doll house in that way.
Throughout most of my schooling, my classmates tormented me for being different. I was the ‘freak’ with the knee-high, striped toe socks and a feather boa tied in my hair. I was told that being unusual was not a widely accepted trait, and that I should change if I wanted to find people who accepted me. I remember sitting in the girl’s bathroom eating lunch everyday, wondering whether or not I should give in and change myself. I considered straightening my insanely frizzy hair, or maybe shopping at the more popular stores, just so I could have a friend who would accept me. It was in that school bathroom I realized that changing who I was would destroy the oddball I have always been. Changing just so I could fit in was no longer an option.
Now that I’m older, I have found that my unconventional ways have not changed as much as my parents thought they would. I am eighteen years old, and I still play pinecone tennis in my backyard. I have been caught numerous times sitting, and sometimes napping, on the roof of my house that is easily accessible from my bedroom window. I refuse to believe that clothing spread across the floor cannot substitute for a brightly colored carpet. I also believe that pretending that I am a pirate is entirely acceptable behavior when walking around the mall.
No one knows why I am the way I am, but I know that I’m not going to change just to fit into a world filled with ordinary days, weeks, and years. Mediocrity is far too dreary for my adventurous spirit.
I believe that normal days are the ones that are forgotten. I believe that mundane jobs may bring home the paycheck, but it’s the eccentrics that live the million-dollar lives. I believe that being normal, is completely overrated.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.