Things that always surprise me when people say them:
“I’ve never gotten a speeding ticket.”
“I’ve never broken a bone.”
“I’ve never been to jail.” (Please note: jail, not prison.)
Why does any of this surprise me? Because earlier in my life, I assumed that everyone thought (and lived) the way I did. I thought all of the above we’re normal parts of life, especially for young men. I assumed just because all of those things had happened to me, they’d happened to everyone my age.
The truth is, of course, that everyone’s experiences are unique. What’s normal to one person’s life is completely abnormal to another’s. Things that I see as a normal part of growing up (those examples above) actually might show a shocking lack of responsibility and intelligence on my part.
Point being: we all see the idea of “normal” through the lens of our own lives. That means there are about 7 billion permutations of “normal,” one for every human. There are averages, of course — things like median income (I suppose that’s considered a “normal” income), but even those vary wildly.
What’s normal to you? Does the concept even exist?