In a previous post I touched on having to go and get my drivers licence renewed and the ‘art’ of trying desperately to ‘look’ normal.
So heres the back story.
I haven’t driven, properly, or long distance, for years. This is my choice; as in, I haven’t had my licence revoked or anything. But I figured, possible panic attack and driving don’t really go well together … so better safe than sorry, at least until I can get a handle on everything. And thats not going into the Vertigo scenario and being able to handle movement etc.
So at the end of last year, I was flicking through my extremely empty wallet, hoping to find a lazy $20 I may have tucked away and forgotten about; when I happenstanced upon my drivers licence. Looking longingly at the 30 something year old on the front of it, wondering if she had imagined ‘this’ in her future, I thereby-ist noticed the expiry date … Shit Fuck! June 2017, it read in glaringly obvious torment.
- I’ll have to go in to the licensing place.
- I’ll have to talk to them.
- I’ll have to make eye contact.
- I’ll have to fill in forms.
- I’ll have to go during the day time.
- I’ll have to leave my house.
Now by the end of last year, I was way better than I had been the year before. I had made a few trips into town; I could walk to the local shop by myself and down to the beach by myself. I could even talk on the phone for 10-15 minutes! Yip-fucking-py! Sure, I still needed, and still need, my ‘tool kit’, but I was, and am, slowly gangstah-rizing my process.
So I put my licence back in my wallet and made a note of it on the whiteboard – so I wouldn’t forget and so I wouldn’t dwell on it and freak out even more.
June 2017 rolls round and holy fuck, I’m not ready … but I am … but I’m so not!
Bring on the Thursday just gone; 1 day before my licence is due to expire. I get myself ready and drop and quarter calmer sedative, and we head off. But I have this roaring gnawing sensation in the pit of my gut.
“How the fuck do I do normal?”
Not that I had ever really been ‘practiced’ in the art of ‘normality’ or steadily practiced ‘active normality’ LOL. But i think, without even realising it, we’re all ‘socialised’ into being, or at least acting, normal. And that normality, as despised by those of us who … well … aren’t … really is an awkward farce. And those of us on the fringes, spend a shittonne of time establishing something outside of that norm, to call our own, and the spend the rest of that time screaming at the normal mofos, to notice us and let us be all at the same time.
Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where normal was gay and heterosexual was abnormal; where the only access ways were wheelchair ramps and there was only one ‘abled-bodied’ toilet in a restaurant; where atheism was normal and christianity was abnormal; where female was the dominant gender … and normal … and male, was abnormal … and subservient; where my mochachinno was only served to me by white middle aged men in suits ;) Yah get my drift … And whilst we all struggle in our own sections of ‘abnormality’ to find normality of our own … we can acknowledge somewhere, somehow, that the ‘normal’ we all long for – is Not.
This is a straight able-bodied white mid-aged, upper middle class dude world. Anything outside that … isn’t normal. Soz peeps, that actually puts a lot of you into the ‘abnormal’ section by default ;)
So knowing that most of Us are not normal, We still strive to fit. Because there is a ‘look’ that we are after … and that is one of “Yeah, I know what the fuck I’m doing”.
So when all that appeasing and pleasing is stripped away, and You really are left with your A for Authentic self and whoever that may be … could You, would You, go back to faking it? Even for a moment?
Well, it turns out – I can’t without getting sick!
I made it to the counter to get my licence renewed … I managed to fake a smile or two and do ‘banter’ on the bad photos that end up on the front of all licences. And all the while my head was spinning; my gutt was gnawing and I desperately wanted to throw up; my legs wanted to get the fuck out of there! But I stayed – because I Needed what they were providing.
Now some would say that this is the price we have to pay to get what we want. That Complicity is what we have to employ to get things done.
But I’ve never been complicit. I have had complicity forced upon Me and complied because it was the choice between breathing – Or not.
But for these everyday things, I really do wonder, how we got to the point where complicity was the normal. Who made the rules up that we all follow? Who decided what looks and acts normal? Who decided what was abnormal?
Anywho … that gnawing in my gutt went on for over 3 days. No, I didn’t have a panic attack (not a biggie anyway). No, I didn’t freak completely. And that in ‘the big picture’ of things, is what the psychologists would call “Progress”. And don’t get Me wrong; I high fived myself!
But aren’t I just re-learning how to be ‘normal’? How to work the system so I can get what I want?
That leaves a bad after taste in my gutt.