What is Your Norm?

Have you ever felt different from other people? Everyone is different but have you asked yourself why am I not like everyone else? Why do I like what other people don’t like and get ridiculed? Why are my thoughts different from what other people think about? More importantly, at times, have you felt that you’re not a part of this worldly thought? These are my thoughts everyday and I did not know how to unpack this for fear of being misunderstood. During this season, I had a conversation with some friends who asked “What have you learned about yourself that you want to practice after this quarantine season passes?” I love these friends because they’re looking through the trees and not the forest. In other words, they’re seeing the full picture of how this year has been and are taking life notes from it.

I can tell you what I have learned this season is out of observation and I want to share my thoughts while reflecting during this time. One thing that I have learned is that I have been at peace just being quiet as the world moves around me. A lot of people are not good at standing still alone. They run away from the quiet because they do not want to deal with themselves alone. While I’m not good at staying still in some parts of my personal life, I have always been a quiet person. Sometimes I am impatient with things I want to do but realize it’s not the right time for certain things to manifest in my life. Being still, or being quiet, has brought back things that I am good at doing. Being still has reclaimed more of my time back to do things I am good at doing in my personal time. I just did not want to be held accountable for these skills because I am still learning to master these skills in a disciplinary perspective. My mind moves so much that it’s hard to capture everything and prioritize, but now I have this time to do it. Rather than sit idle, stare at the wall and do nothing because I can’t go anywhere, I am taking this time to do things I have always desired. For instance, this blog that I began with the help of a friend was done quicker than I expected because I always had the material. My challenge was getting help to put out the content I want to share with you. I write…a lot. In a matter of months, I filled a notebook full of my thoughts and experiences from the last few months and there are more things to write in more notebooks. I am a creative person. I love art which does not just include paintings. Writing and music is a form of art. This is one of the platforms I use to unpack my creativity and hopefully place seeds of thoughts to readers to ponder, discuss, and run with their own ideas and given visions. Because of it, I am grateful to make more time to write because it speaks to people in areas of their lives they are wondering about. For those who don’t, it’s completely okay! Take that time to just be quiet, stare off in space and examine your thoughts of why you do what you. Take this time to become more aware of yourself to know who you are. Because I am a God fearing woman (a work in progress-mind you), I enjoy praying and reading devotions throughout the day to keep myself centered in Him. Without that, I get disheveled. Sometimes, being alone is totally fine which is different from being lonely. Being around too many people or a distracting environment drowns out what you are trying to sort through to be purposeful in your life. If you feel lonely my heart truly goes out to you.

Another reflective lesson is that I have been financially productive. I already intended to save money for things I want to achieve, such as getting debt free and get things I couldn’t afford. Many of us are slaves to debt in America, whether in education or other areas where we need to monitor our spending. When I looked at my bank account and assessed how much I spent prior to quarantine…I was embarrassed! I wanted to hang out, socialize and connect with people. For me, happy hours are fun, but not always financially productive. I can now throw money towards debt I have been meaning to take care of and end quicker than intended. One of my friends told me they have paid off a lot the debt they owed which encouraged them to continue doing this. They (and myself) realized they don’t need to spend money on frivolous ways to upkeep a lifestyle they can have after their debt is paid and even invest more! Realizing this same thing, I had already intended to limit the amount of social activities I do so I can pay things off and save money for what I want to do in the future! With that, I know this is very hard for many people who are social butterflies. They long to be around people physically, but I don’t have to be. It doesn’t mean I want to be a hermit, because I do enjoy company. However, I enjoy taking time to myself to re-energize and take care of things I have delayed doing.

Speaking of limits, that brings my final lesson for myself. After this season slowly passes, I want to stay consistent in practicing these new habits for my future and my purpose because this works for me. I am no longer as interested in going out to just socialize and throw my life away on things that are only present. I can live in the present, but if I am not led to continue, I am okay with not doing so for my purpose. We already know things will be a bit different from what we are used to. The quality of certain things we normally get will be reduced even more-please pay attention to that because it’s already happening. Please readers, do not waste the time that has been reclaimed for you. I’ve seen many new businesses flourish at what people are really good at doing and the popular demands for their abilities show! I am so proud for them and more encouraged to do this for myself. I have seen others really enjoy their time with family and people who they have longed to spend time to bond and build a new relationship whether a friendship, mentorship or romanticship. Whether it’s a new business, a new love, supporting others, or seeking what you can do, do not let your life continue to thrive in things that do not serve you productively. Stop running from your purpose and seek it! You will be gratefully surprised. Also, I am finally really enjoying singledom. This is my kingdom of singleness. I enjoy being by myself to get all my thoughts out before losing that time back to obligatory responsibilities. While this may not be for others, this is for me. I am so happy to see others in new relationships as long as they are out of intent and not to fill in time. If you’re trying to fill in time by having someone around, what will happen after quarantine ends? I honestly do not understand why people can’t see how they are so ready to follow a trend that everyone else is doing to be accepted by other people. This might be a coping mechanism, but deviate from that and return to your normal, not everyone else’s norm. It will serve you in such a healthy way. Also, after this passes…you maybe in a whole different environment of people. Just take that into consideration as you begin to see people for who they are. Some of your friends on social media are NOT your real friends! It’s not a bad thing, but maybe a realization that they might not be on the same page with you like you thought. Take this into consideration and get raw and real with yourself.

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