I've been thinking about this a lot, and I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm not normal sometimes.
I spend a lot of time on social media, and I see a lot of pictures and things that my friends post - vacation photos, engagement photos, pet photos, wedding photos, child photos. And don't get me wrong - I love seeing them. I love seeing what's going on in my friends' lives, and since I'm not always comfortable just striking up a conversation, their posts make it easy for me to stay updated without, you know, the actual talking part. So please understand, I am not judging their lives.
Rather, I'm judging myself. Because sometimes I look at their photos, and I know that, while I'm very happy for them, it turns out that I have zero interest in some of these things for myself.
For example, while I have nothing against the idea of marriage or weddings and I'm happy for all my married friends, I have absolutely zero interest in getting married myself, and I definitely never, ever want to have a wedding. I look at other people's wedding and engagement photos, and I appreciate their happiness and their beauty, but aside from that? I feel no pull of longing for that myself.
I'm an introvert and a homebody, and even just being at a dinner party means that, when I get home, I will be holing up in my room alone for the rest of the evening. Forget ever hosting a party myself, unless I make sure there's a quiet corner for me to hide myself in.
I used to want to have a slim figure and a six-pack, but now the idea of trying to lose weight holds zero interest for me anymore. Even the 10 pounds or so that I would need to lose to drop down to the next weight class below me just makes me shrug my shoulders. I'm never going to have a "desirable" body type. I'm not a "hot girl," and I'm okay with that, because there's no point in turning heads anyway if most of the time, I'm like, "Don't look at me don't look at me don't look at me."
I suppose this is how other people feel when they talk about not wanting kids. I have actually always wanted lots of kids, but then again, am I a normal mom? I see how the other kids - and their parents - look at me when I show up to pick up my child from school. Kids that I don't know know that I'm Jolie's mom, with the multi-colored hair, tattoos, and muscles.
I'm not insecure about myself, but I do sometimes wonder how I ended up the way I did, hardwired to want certain things and not to want other things, especially if mostly everyone else I know wants or doesn't want the opposite. I wonder why I apparently ended up not normal.
I understand that conformity is overrated. I get that. I also get that social media is a curated look into other people's lives, and that maybe every single person I know thinks of themselves as at least a little bit weird.
But I can't help wishing that I was normal sometimes, you know? My life would be so much easier. I would fit in better, talk to people more easily. Maybe if I wanted the same things/cared about the same movies and tv shows/listened to Adele/could more easily ignore problematic kyriarchal media, then I wouldn't walk around feeling like, "ME, I'm a weird one. I have ISSUES."
But then I just wouldn't be me, I guess. I would not be living authentically. And I'm not saying that everyone else is not being authentic - I just feel like my authentic choices somehow ended up completely different from most other people's authentic choices. And I understand logically that that's okay, but... I still feel the unease of being different.
So, again, while I'm not insecure about it, exactly, I do struggle with it. The more I know about other people's lives, the more I realize that my life doesn't seem to measure up quite the same way. And I worry about myself because of that. But I'm also deathly afraid of not being my authentic self, whatever that means, so what's a girl to do? Obviously, I will keep on keepin' on, but... is there anything that eases this feeling? Will I someday be 80 years old and still feeling like I'm not normal?