This I Believe

Jennifer - Marlton, New Jersey
Entered on October 24, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I want to believe that I am normal.

Odd, isn’t it? To want to be normal. Most people want to be special. The smartest. The prettiest. The most successful. And sure, I want to be all those things too. But right now, in many aspects of my life, I’d be so much happier on a day-to-day basis if I truly believed, absolutely, in my gut, that I was normal.

I do believe at a logical level that I’m normal. Heck, if we just stick with logic for a minute, I’ll even admit that I believe I have a number of special qualities too. But I’ve been working very hard recently to try and somehow transfer what I believe is logically true into solid core beliefs in my gut. And that’s proving to be surprisingly difficult.

One key issue that I’ve been focused on recently is a desire to look normal. I desperately want to believe that if you passed me on the street, you wouldn’t notice anything in particular about me, and if you were introduced to me, your first impression would just be “she’s a normal woman.” Logically, all evidence points to the fact that this is true. I’m within a couple of inches and a couple of pounds of average height and weight for women my age. I’m fortunate that I don’t have any extreme physical characteristics that might make me stand out in a negative way in a crowd. And yet my gut refuses to believe that I look normal.

My gut does have some reason to be confused. In the last few years I’ve gone from morbidly obese to simply obese and now (thrillingly) I’m merely overweight. One of the millions of American women who’d like to lose 15 or 20 pounds.

I know that if I could only transfer this belief that I look normal to my gut, I would feel a tremendous sense of relief. And it just shouldn’t be this difficult to do so. For goodness sake, I’m a scientist. A computer geek. I absolutely believe, both logically and in my gut, that something so obviously true as this should easily move from logical proof to gut-level belief. Alas, both my logic and my gut are failing me now.

And so I plod on. I continue to believe (at all levels) in the importance of working to ensure that the things I know are logically true also feel true at my core. And I even believe, in my gut, that it’s possible to work towards that goal. I just wish that I could figure out exactly how to do so.