The Town of Normal

I grew up in a small town where not too much went on. It was quiet, pretty, and populated by hard working people, who had polite conversation over the backyard fence or Sunday morning coffee katches.

In my heart, I longed for the exciting life. I vowed that when I grew up, I would move to California, live the wild life of movie stars and tempermental poets and I’d be a legend in my own time. Actually, as it turned out I was a legend in my own mind. I’ve found that by and large, California in its essence is not much different from the midwestern town where I grew up. People work, play, struggle, have dramas and moments of peaceful existence.

Despite my unrepentant yearning, I’ve accepted that life, in general, is boring. You work, you eat, you play and you sleep. There are moments of high interest, even excitement – but never the type they show in the movies. A disappointment? Sure, in some ways.

Yet recently, when an unexpected event happened in my life – my town of Normal was thrown right off my geographical map. It didn’t exist anymore and I wondered if it would ever resurface. I longed for the boredom and routine and the sense that everything was normal. Just normal. Nothing more. Nothing less. I felt weak in the knees and seasick from the uncertainty that had overtaken my life and thoughts.

Now, the tide has receded and the town of Normal has come back into view. I can feel the boredom (sweet boredom) returning. The routine, the same shit, different day ease that puts my adrenaline meter down below 100 and I sigh.

The lesson learned: You don’t know how good normal can feel until you don’t feel normal.

10 thoughts on “The Town of Normal

  1. i had a thought and then as I started typing my mind got so flooded! I think I’m going to have to turn that thought into a blog post in the future. For now, I’ll just say that I understand EXACTLY what you mean about sweet boredom and yearning to feel normal again.


    I hate it when that happens. 😉

    I know you do understand. Completely. Thanks for that, my friend.



  2. Thank goodness it has come back into view, Chica.
    i know you’ve been dealing with so much recently.

    Though i still miss the bustle and cacophony of the city, i’ve got to say that the calm predictability, slow pace and quiet of Talent have had their affect on my spirit.

    R has always said, even when we struggled in horrible neighborhoods, that we can always have peace because it is something within rather than without. So i am glad that peace is returning to you.

    Yes, within is the key, isn’t it, Chica? Thanks for your prayers. I feel them.


  3. I crave routine so much that when something interrupts it I can get panicky. I’m trying to learn to accept the little breaks in my routine without them making me all nervous. I used to worry over doctor and hair appointments for days before. I finally don’t even think about them until it’s time to leave the house. It took me a long time to reach this point. I was becoming agoraphobic. I still have my routine which I love but I can handle it now if the routine breaks a little. For me this has been a step forward.

    I don’t know what you have been going through but I’m glad it’s getting better.

    “The lesson learned: You don’t know how good normal can feel until you don’t feel normal.”

    Love that sentiment.

    It is amazing Joanie, how much we can get rattled when our normal routine is changed about isn’t it? Especially in an unexpected way. Thanks, honey, yes it’s getting a bit better.


  4. This post really resonated with me. Annie, I may do a private blog someday in the town of future, then I can share with my blogland family how much I agree.

    The lesson learned: You don’t know how good normal can feel until you don’t feel normal.Well said.

    LOL Ange,
    The town of Future sounds a might better to me. Is is growing community? Check the rentals for me, will you?



  5. yes, this is definitely a lesson i have learned. i love how your write it 🙂 town of normal is a wonderful thing indeed most days 🙂

    Thanks, D!
    It keeps moving in and out of view, but I think more now instead of less.


  6. Aha, another thing we have in common (this is getting rather spookey), we both grew up in ‘normal town’ where someone buying a new car was actually news and the local papers wrote about who had who over for tea.


    I know what you mean. And yet I don’t think there is such a thing as normal. Even the same shit at times smells slightly different. Which is why reality TV gets watched.


    I sometimes wonder whether ‘normal’ should become trendy again. After all, we have so much immediate access to everything ‘abnormal’/’taboo’/’perverted’that it’s just become overwhelmingly boring(or should I say ‘normal’?).

    I realise this is not what you are talking about in your post necessarily but it’s where my mind went off to after reading your lines.

    Sorry 😉 .

    Great post though.

    Yours truly

    Mrs ‘looking forward to a normal evening’

    Hey Spaz,
    I love your point about how creepy things have become normal and the hope that normal might become trendy again. And oh yeah, we obviously grew up in the same kind of town. Who knew? 😆


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