Leaving Normal - by Donna

This week I’ve been traveling. As part of my “real” job as a professor at Colorado State University and Director of the teacher and principal preparation program, I attended an educational conference at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. I enjoyed the whole concept of traveling to “normal.” I’ve definitely never been there before.

There is a long history of crazy in my family. In Texas, there is a certain respect for crazy, so it never seemed abnormal to me. Ever since I can remember, someone in my extended family was going away somewhere for their “nerves.” Usually that involved a locked ward in some mental facility and that was “normal.”

It used to concern me that I might follow this path, but I’ve come to value the inheritance of crazy. Someone told me once that most people live their lives on a spectrum from 0 to 10, but some people live their lives on the spectrum from -2 to 12. I love that idea. It makes being a little “off” seem special and unique-not totally bonkers. Besides I’ve come to learn that outside the range of normal is where I do my best work. I like the fact I believe the guy at my coffee shop with the locking silver metal computer case actually works for the CIA. I enjoy the special names (and backstory) I’ve created for the people in my neighborhood that I’ve never actually talked to—like RedLips and SadLady and MarshaMarshaMarsha. I’ve even come to appreciate the conversations I have inside my head, especially since now they often end up on the page. It’s not exactly normal, but I think the characters I create and the stories I tell when I embrace the crazy is where I do my best work.

So I guess my realization was that normal was a nice place to visit, and I’m sure a lot of people would love to live their lives here. It’s just not for me.


-2 to 12=wonderful! I will try to impress this upon my muse.

Post a Comment

Grid_spot theme adapted by Lia Keyes. Powered by Blogger.


discover what the Muses get up to when they're not Musing

an ever-growing resource for writers

Popular Musings

Your Responses

Fellow Musers