The norm. A constant state, of comfort, going through the motions, when everything and everyone seems to be as they should be. Because of its consistency, its silent existence, it is often overlooked or taken for granted. A good number of people I suppose, would prefer to remain in their comfort zone, a metaphorical space that safeguards the individual from unwanted surprises, unexpected disappointments, interruptions, simply anything that throws them off the highway of normalcy they have been cruising on half-aware most of the time.
Interruptions. They possess a diversity of disguises. Some announce their presence as illnesses, causing people to fall sick, rendering them physically weak and mentally exhausted from their struggle to return to a clean bill of health – the norm. Others invite themselves into our lives as problems you could definitely do without. An extra deadline added to your pile of overdues, someone agitating you just enough on a day when you’re highly irritable for no rhyme or reason, disputes in the family and the subsequent cold war.
Our minds receive certain signals that inform us when something is amiss, when we’ve deviated from the norm, when everything in our lives were supposedly “going right”. Taking ill is a clear indication of disrupted health; being angry about anything and everything and with anyone and everyone, there’ll come a time when one will ponder “Why am I so angry all the time? While others are simply, ok?”
Pain, is a signal that we’ve deviated from the norm. I don’t think we were made to feel pain our whole lives, like how automation isn’t designed to constantly experience stress on its various mechanical parts. Pain is a repercussion that serves as a pathway that leads us to the cause of interruption to our actually uninterrupted state of normalcy. But pain itself provides a good distraction. At its greatest intensity, pain has the power to consume our attention completely, such that it is the only thing that exists on our mental plane other than ourselves. Dean Koontz once said, “When we make our own misery, we sometimes cling to it even when we want so bad to change, because the misery is something we know; the misery is comfortable“. Sometimes we end up allowing pain to become the new norm.
A sense of awkwardness that refused to be ignored permeated my thoughts today. In recent weeks I’ve come to terms that I’ve taken a special liking for both of them. Both lent me novels, from the same author, different titles, but one after the other. And for both I returned them their novels with a note on which I picked out a quote from their respective novels followed by a “Thank you” for lending me their books. The problem is that I think, the one whom I returned the book earlier to, saw me do the same to another as I had done for her. I especially like them both, but they are both friends, and my desire to favour both just didn’t feel right.
I wanted to runaway from the issue at hand, just like I’ve always done now looking back. I contemplated falling into old patterns and create for myself a sort of misery, a type of self-pity and pain that is immature of my age. Misery, was my comfort. Every time my emotional needs overwhelmed me I always found myself disappointed at the end of the day, ruing what I’ve ruined and lost, wondering how things would’ve been if what had happened never unfolded. Someone once told me she ran to clear her mind. And honestly, I still miss her somewhat today. Or perhaps more accurately, I miss what we used to have.
So how do I return to the norm now that I have strayed from the highway of normalcy yet again? I want them both, yet I can’t have them both. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that I can have them both, but I’ll have to let go of one of them. So far, this desire of “having” I possess is a selfish one. It is one that if I keep this up favouring both of them, and in the highly impossible event that they feel the same as I do for them in time to come, I’d be breaking up the norm for two people whom I especially like and who are good friends. Of course I highly doubt I’d be ever so fortunate or unfortunate to experience that kind of scenario. But definitely, for my own sake, to show some sign of maturity, I have to treat both of them equally. Just friends, no favouritism. After all, I know I’m not ready for it, that thing called a relationship. So I might as well put my efforts into building good friendships with two wonderful people.