Do y’all know how badly I want to be “normal” again?

If I had a genie in a bottle, if I believed in Santa Clause, if I wished on stars….my wish would be to be normal again.

I would wish on that star, and my wish would be when I pulled up to a house where I feel comfortable for a party I felt comfortable attending, and then I see cars, even if I know the cars, the cars wouldn’t send me into a panic and I had the ability to get out of my own.

I would ask Santa if I could have a present, wrapped underneath a tree, that contained some kind of magic that would make me not have to leave a party because a song came on the radio that, once heard, I couldn’t un-hear.

If I had a genie in a bottle, my wishes would be that the side door of my courtroom wouldn’t ever open, that no one would tell me they were sorry while I was on the bench, and that I wouldn’t ever have to go back to that day while I am trying to work, doing what I love.


But this is the reality: That is never going to be happen.

That is never going to happen because there isn’t a Santa Clause and there isn’t a magic genie and wishing on stars are only that: wishes.


Here is the ugly real, y’all:

People talk about creating a “new normal.”

I’ve said that to other people in life-altering circumstances, because I hoped they could find a new normal.

I believed there was such a thing as a new normal.


There isn’t.


There is only what is normal, and then, what is different.

And I wish I had never said that to anyone ever before now, because only now do I know how off-base I was.

It is nobody’s fault. It wasn’t mine then. It isn’t yours, now. You just can’t know until you know.

I have just recently figured it out, though.


Normal is what you are used to.

Different is something other than what you are used to.


So, I guess, I should now say to someone else who is going through a catastrophic change: “I so hope you can find a way sometime, somehow, to deal with being different.”

Because here is nothing normal about becoming different.

Different is good if you choose different. We all choose different all the time.

We change our hair styles. We change our clothes. We paint our walls. We build new houses. We cut people out of our lives. We invite people into our lives. We start exercising. We quit drinking. We change schools. We change majors. We change jobs. We change churches. We quit praying. We start praying. We give to one charity. We give to another charity. We move to another state. We change political affiliation. We become outspoken. We decide to listen. We become more aware. We choose to ignore that which distracts us. We become more affectionate. We rebuke affection. We quit watching a t.v. series. We start reading books at night. We give up coffee. We decide to go to law school.

We invite different, because we need a change.

We need a change, because we want to be different.

We choose to be different. We choose to live differently.

We choose to be different or live differently because it suits us.

It makes us feel like we are more who we really are because of our choice.

We choose a new normal, because we want a new normal.


But different occurs because something happens that is out of our control, and we have to learn how to live with different.

We lose our jobs. We lose our houses. We lose relationships. We lose our hair. We lose our voices.


We lose our daddies.


And we didn’t choose it.

We didn’t ask for it.

We didn’t want it.


In fact, we want normal.

That is all we want.




Job back.

House back.

Relationship back.

Hair back.

Voice back.


Daddy back.


That would constitute normal.

Until then, it is just different.


And unless the different is something we pick, we choose, we ask for, it never becomes normal.

It stays different.

And different NEVER feels normal.


Daddy not being at his house is not normal.

Daddy not sitting in his chair in his office is not normal.

Daddy not calling me on Sunday after church to see if we are finished and telling us to meet him at Penn’s is not normal.

Daddy not asking to have his back scratched is not normal.

Daddy not joking about something really dumb is not normal.

Daddy not wearing ugly brown boat shoes is not normal.

Daddy not walking in my door after work to see the babies is not normal.

Daddy not asking for a new school picture of the babies is not normal.

Daddy not taking Mac to play golf is not normal.

Daddy not watching Mac play football is not normal.

Daddy not watching any football is not normal.

Daddy not being in his recliner watching anything is not normal.

Daddy not calling me about whatever he is watching is not normal.

Daddy not listening to my latest court story is not normal.

Daddy not checking on me during bad weather is not normal.

Daddy not checking on me period is not normal.


Daddy not being on this planet is not normal.


And it is never going to be normal.

There is nothing normal about Daddy not.

Because Daddy did.


And that is not normal.

It is only different.


And I did’t ask for different.

I really, really, really liked normal.

We all did.

It made us who we were.


It made me who I am.

And now, I have no idea who I am.


Because Daddy chose for us.

Daddy chose for me.

Daddy chose for me to be normal.

And then, Daddy chose for me to different.


His choice made me who I was.

And then his choice made me not who I was.

And I’m never going to be her again.


And expecting me to be normal when I’m not normal is not normal.




Because normal doesn’t exist.

Only different exists.


Now, I am just different.

And I exist, differently.



And all I can do right now is to learn how to be different.


I can wish. I can hope. I can long for a genie lamp.

But there isn’t one.

There is just me.


This is me.

I am just me.

And I am not normal.


I am just different.




3 thoughts on “Different

  1. No you are not normal; you are an intelligent woman trying to make sense of something to which you will never understand……………why? Oh, I am inclined to want to fix people. But you must find your own way. When my Daddy died, I couldn’t stay in the little country church of our ancestors. Cry, scream, don’t feel bad about being mad. Let it out, no apologies, no regrets. Oh but you have deeply touched me.


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