Being Happy Being Normal

Being happy is not something that comes naturally to me. Being content is just as difficult.

It should be possible to reach a stable point in life where you say, “Yep, we’ll run like this for a while and be happy to have achieved it”. Most people do that at some point. Most people accept their place and go with the flow.

Ever since graduating, I have had to modify my mindset to try to capture this. Ever since I stopped believing in my own hype, probably about age 21, that, actually, not everything is possible, and that the world is definitely not my oyster, I have had to batter and abuse my mindset to try and set it into a path of Normal.

I remember when I was young I was obsessed with the concept of normal. I think at about age 13 I decided I’d had enough of trying to conform, and I despised the vast majority of the people in my school. I didn’t want to have anything to do with anyone but my tiny amount of friends. I wanted to be different.

The trouble was I was anything but. Being shy and introverted, suddenly launching into outward displays of “look how abnormal I am” just wasn’t me. I liked to think I had a different mentality to others, that I was clever and astute and with wisdom beyond my years; that was what made me different. I clung onto that.

I tried to think I was different because I didn’t care what others thought. That was always my shield. I tried to think that no matter what others thought of me, how geeky or nerdy or weird I was, I would plough on regardless. I would be the winner in the end.

I liked to think that this was all unique to me, but I realise now when I look back that everyone goes through this feeling at some stage. Some point at which they pull one of their own “talents” and turns it into a way of feeling superior.

This attitude stuck with me for a long time. Through college I enjoyed it, and got some surprising kudos for it. I clung onto it during my gap year, kept telling myself that I was better than what I was doing.

Then university arrived, and, being surrounded by both nerds and idiots (yes, they even make it university), my attitude stayed resolute. I was up the grade. I really would use my intelligence, my abnormality, to achieve something. I relished the positivity that I enjoyed from being good at being good.

As time wore on though, and Iwas ground down with a year in London, I started to change my mind. It was briefly halted when I achieved a first class honours degree. That made me again feel pretty special. But it wasn’t to last. Within a month, sitting in utter horror back in my family home, I realised how much of a charade my mentality had been.

The trouble is that, since that day, I have not really been happy. I decided that I really must try and carve out something resembling normal life. Normal life for people is work, family, friends, social time in moderation, then back to work. Repeated endlessly for decades if you’re lucky, then you retire, and then you die.

I have never wanted that. I have always wanted there to be no normal. That every day is another challenge. Every day is another opportunity. Every day is another chance to make progress to being something different to what everyone else is doing.

As such, I am never happy. I continually say to myself that I should just be content with where I am, and accept that I have actually done pretty well to achieve what I want. But I cannot do it. My mind resists. I just can’t be happy.

More on my various neuroses next time…

There Is No Normal

Right now, my sleep pattern is well and truly up the wall.

For the past week or so, having done three night shifts on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I have been trying to work out a sensible routine that I can stick to. Unfortunately, my body is having none of it, and it’s not helped by simply going to bed earlier and earlier, thus putting me back into my old sleeping ways.

No, that’s no good at all. What I need to do is like today, even though I’ve just finished a 7 hour shift which was extremely busy, and managed to make almost no mistakes whatsoever (except trust one customer for just a little too long, meaning my till was slightly down at the end of the shift…) … and stay up late.

Tomorrow I will be doing a night shift again. That’s all good, but this week they’re going to be much more difficult as they’re in a very busy location. And the customers just don’t fucking go to bed. Ever. One might think a lull would arrive after a certain hour, but it doesn’t. They just keep on coming. And they’ll happily queue up at the window. It’s no bother to them at all.

It’s at times like that, though, that I’m always grateful when I’m behind the bulletproof glass and I’ve got a safely locked door. It makes what should be a rather arduous job much more tolerable. Indeed, I’d go so far as to say the night shifts are much better simply because things aren’t so frantic for you. There’s much more time to get your banking right, get your safe drops spot on, process the vast amounts of change the taxi drivers give you, and make sure things generally run smoothly.

So while I’m readjusting to working life, I’m actually being hit with work for my business. Got a couple of customers ongoing at the moment, and I’m in the middle of some PC sales, which should be concluded shortly. The miracle of the past few days was that I actually sold a PC through my website. I’m very happy with that, it makes a very pleasant change indeed. If only I thought it would keep going.

Tomorrow I’ve got to try and finish these few jobs off and get my room in order. It’s such a horrible mess at the moment that I hate going up there. And I hate it up there anyway because it’s either too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter. And right now, it’s obviously too hot. I like the sun. I’m enjoying the heatwave. But at night… it has to cool down at least a bit.

Unfortunately it doesn’t. And worse, I have to try and sleep during the day in a room that at times reads 34C on the thermometer. (Don’t ever get a loft conversion. They’re totally uninhabitable)

So it’s a strange old life I’m leading at the moment. Always on the go, always doing something. I just wish more of my time actually earned me a living rather than kept me from getting bored. After all, it’s not like I’m all that enthused about the potential prospect on the horizon of me becoming the secretary of my local junior football league. Great!