“Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.” – Charles Bukowski
I’ve been called this more than once. Crazy. In fact, this might be the adjective that is used to describe me most. Maybe passionate, maybe adventurous, but crazy is usually thrown into the mix at some point.
So I’m curious. Crazy, like how? It that an insult, or a compliment? Are you admiring me, or are you just really concerned?
I suspect that it might be all of the above, an all-encompassing way to tell me that I might be beyond help. And it admittedly feels that way sometimes.
So what exactly should I do then, to be normal? Should I settle down, keep my mouth shut and my opinions to myself? Should I refrain from taking so many risks and doing everything to the extreme? Would it make you more comfortable if I was more, I don’t know, ordinary?
But I’m just not. It’s something I cannot change. I’ve tried. And truth be told, ordinary sounds terrible to me.
That does makes you uncomfortable, doesn’t it? It’s like when you see that crazy person in the grocery store who is drawing a little too much attention to herself. She isn’t acting normal, and you are embarrassed for her.
Well, don’t be. She’s not. She very well might be crazy, but she is just being who she is.
Crazy: Full of cracks or flaws; being out of the ordinary; distracted with desire or excitement.— Merriam-Webster Dictionary
It seems to me that we live in a society where most are obsessed with making their lives as predictable as possible. Propping up the status quo ensures that all ducks are in a row and that they will know exactly what direction those ducks will go. If they just have a stable job, get married, buy a house in the burbs, and have 2.5 kids, then they’ll be considered a success. They will be considered normal.
That is so not my life, not even close. It is flawed and sometimes feels cracked beyond repair. My ducks are a bit unruly and my one attempt at normalcy failed miserably.
But if my life was normal, then it wouldn’t be exciting, at least not to me. There would not have been any wild adventures, life-changing experiences, or beautiful friendships made all over the world.
I’m not saying if you are normal, you are not happy. You are, aren’t you? Or are you just content? I’m not, not always. But content is something I simply don’t want to be. My desire to be happy is exactly what pushes me to change things when I’m not. If I feel discontent, or I am getting complacent, then I do something differently.
This is why people do extraordinary things, isn’t it, how transformation takes place? They see something they want to change, and they do something radical to change it. Nelson Mandela, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, didn’t they question the status quo, break the rules, and forge new paths?
I’m clearly not an Einstein or Nelson Mandela, but I might as well aim to be something as extraordinary. So this means I have to stay curious. I have to stay hungry and unyielding, passionate and unruly. I have to be courageous, and I have to do things differently.
So I know my life makes you uncomfortable. Believe me, it is sometimes. It looks messy, because it is. It is often unpredictable and sometimes very painful. But it is always an adventure, and it will never be ordinary.
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”– Steve Jobs
But it is always an adventure, and it will never be ordinary.