Week Ten: Normality

How often do you question normality? 

If you allow it, life is a conveyor belt. Your parents place you on it, lunch packed, and it carries you along, through kindergarten to elementary school. You allow what your teachers say to be categorized as truth, although, most of what you learn when you are young you find out it is incorrect by high school. You understand that you are good in certain areas and bad at others; limitations are set in place by these realizations. 

Then, without realizing it, middle school has led to high school. When the alarm goes off you wake up and move from one room to the next. Occasionally passions are sparked but most of the time what lays beyond the windows is far more exciting than what is contained within. Before you know it, you have shrunk your individuality to such an insignificant size you can hide it in your locker and finally be accepted as normal. 

Isn’t it odd how many of us strive to squeeze ourselves into the limitations of this word when everyone, if we truly look deep enough, will realize they are far more brilliant when allowed to spring free of these letters’ constraints? 

My experience on the conveyor was short lived, only four years in fact. In this time, I realized the real problem with my early years of homeschooling was, they never taught me how to properly stand in line. I was, and still am, always edging out of a formal row. I never remembered to raise my hand and found the idea of spending my free time completing homework simply absurd. Even so, I applied myself to the experience fully; I hate being bad at anything. I was lucky enough to have a few incredible teachers who defied the odds and actually inspired me. 

My intention is not to bash schools, although, there is much to be desired in our current educational system. No, it is to ask how many times you have gone along blindly? How many times have you accepted the current of “normality” without asking yourself is this benefiting me? Is this how you want to spend 15% of your life (the average amount of time a US citizen spends in school)? 

In my research, I have found the fastest you can become fluent in a language is 3-6 months if you truly apply yourself. I don’t know anyone who has studied Spanish throughout that 15%, graduated with a Spanish degree, and can truly speak fluently. Sometimes school is exactly the right step to take you where you want to go, but if you allowed yourself to think outside convention and use the resources around you, would you be able to get there faster, cheaper and almost entirely self-reliantly? 


Last week, I started the second month of the Praxis boot camp. This month is all about writing. Every day, for the next thirty, I will post an article on my personal blog. So far, it has been more challenging than I anticipated but it's fascinating to see myself overcome writer's block when I sit down to type. 


The seed for my project of the week was planted in my mind many years ago when I would sit on the toilet and flip through National Geographic. This was a time before I could read and the pictures held an elusive pull for me, a deep desire to understand what was going inside, around and behind the snapshot. Have you ever viewed a photo and wished you knew the story of the person, situation or moment right before the shutter was engaged? Pixel Narrative is a place to share these stories. If any of you feel inspired, need a writing prompt, or have a particular picture in mind, I would love to see them, you can submit a post here