It has been too long since I’ve posted a Wondermark, my friends. TOO LONG! And so, to undo this egregious slight, I offer you a clip from this week that was too close to my recent thinking to pass up.
What exactly can we define as normal? As little kids we don’t generally pause from playing house or learning our letters to consider this concept, unless one of our classmates smells bad or has a strange mole or is allergic to food coloring and can’t eat the birthday cupcakes. Obviously, these kids were not normal. And sometimes they were made fun of. As teens, we strived to have the “right clothes,” to go to the “right hangouts,” to blend in. To be “normal.” (Ok, except for the goth kids who were a step ahead of the game and were already anti-normal – and they were DEFINITELY made fun of).
As we headed off to college (or not), we split in two directions. Some went the normal route – joined greek systems, wore college sweatshirts and pajamas to class, studied a lot or partied a lot, but mostly blended in. The others strove for individuality: made their own clothes (or looked like they had), created their own majors, spent more time off campus than on, discovered and loved (or pretended to love) really REALLY fringe music, but mostly attempted various forms of weirdness. Beyond college, I’ve been to towns as generic as they come (Ft. Wayne, IN, for one) and to one that goes so far as to campaign fr its strangeness (Austin, TX).
What I’m finding now is that, while I’ve swung between the two ends of the spectrum for most of my life, the whole IDEA is becoming decreasingly important to me. I’m starting to care less and less about whether or not the way I live is on par with the national average, and more and more about whether or not I’m happy with that lifestyle. If I like lying in bed on Sunday mornings and reading the paper with my dog, or siting in a coffee shop sucking up massive amount of caffeine and free WIFI, and these happen to be what “everybody’s doing,” well so be it. Because I also hate going to sporting events (which I’m told is practically unAmerican) and am about to audition for a community theater produciton of Reefer Madness.
So I suppose my point is Wondermark’s point. We’d all be happier (or at least feel a weight lifted) if we could stop comparing ourselves to those around us. Stop worrying about what other people think and believe (ahem… religious zealots!… ahem), find what makes us deeply content and get to it!
On this note, I propose we all wake up at whatever time strikes our fancy tomorrow (be it 8am or 2pm), throw social “norms” to the wind and enjoy our morning coffee. Or morning Mountain Dew. Or morning Jack and Coke.
Take your pick – no one’s watching.