Am I Finally “Normal?”

For the first time in my life, dare I say… I am starting to feel “normal.”  Not mentally ill anymore, or rather… I don’t feel “different” anymore.

So often, people say that being “normal” is not a good thing.  That it’s boring and mundane.  But for my entire life, that was what I long for, more than anything else.  To be freaking NORMAL.

It’s normal, to bond with people that you go to school with.  It’s not normal to look at all your classmates as enemies who ignore you because you like classical music.

It’s normal, to find things to laugh about during your day.  It’s not normal, to feel hatred and bitterness whenever you see people around you smiling.

It’s normal, to be able to do whatever you put your mind to.  It’s not normal, to be attacked by your hateful brain whenever you try to achieve something.

I remember, especially during college, when I studied viola performance… the practice room was a torture chamber.  When I started playing music, my brain would short-circuit.  The music would cause me pain.  I would start crying bitterly.  Why?  No idea… I only thought to myself: “I suck.  I suck.  IsuckIsuckisuckisukisukfds…”  Emptiness.  Despair.  Music hated me.

Near the end of college, the tears turned into delusions.  Viola technique became a type of discombobulated yoga.  The goal of music was Enlightenment.  I created energy when I practiced, and the energy talked to me.

It sucks, going to a conservatory, where music has a profound meaning to everyone’s lives there.  Music: a form of art.  A way of expression.  A thing of beauty.  When for me… music was never this for me, at least not past my early childhood.  For me, music was a rite of passage, that I kept failing.

For years, I’ve hated musicians.  Because I feel like I have nothing in common with them.  I suppose now, I realize that I dislike “classical” musicians in general.  They’re not terribly creative.  They play pieces well enough, but they can’t compose.  And even those who are “composers” … they’re too “educated” to compose a pleasant melody.  It’s all this atonal garbage now. “Gestures,” conveyed by fists banging on a piano.

I rebelled against this classical culture once I left college, and started writing my own songs and lyrics.  It’s funny: my songs have pleasant melodies and traditional-yet-innovative chord structures, which sound more like the classical period than these “progressive” composers with their atonal garbage.

But whatever.  I don’t have to worry about these people anymore.  I’m out of that hole.

Let’s return to being “normal.”

For the past few days, I’ve returned to practicing my violin.  I’m working on some etudes by Dont, and I might go over some intermediate repertoire.  Stuff I never learned, having switched to viola at around this stage, when I was 11 years old.  I’ve started teaching violin again at a local music school, so I want to start living the life again.

But it’s not about socializing with other musicians.  It’s not about performing music even.  For me… it’s about the journey.  The independent pursuit of bettering myself.  My character.

For years, I never understood the phrase: “You can do anything you put your mind to.”  But now… I might have a chance at it!  I have many interests, and I’m pursuing them all, little by little.  I’m teaching myself Dutch.  I’m practicing violin.  I prepare lesson plans for a children’s music theory class.  I write my pen pal letters in German.  I decorate my room at times, with photos and also collages, made from postcards I got from around the world.  I exercise… although I had stopped for a bit due to a bum elbow with tendonitis.

Many things.  At times, I’m afraid.  Afraid that I can’t keep up with the momentum that I’ve created for myself, finally.  I don’t want to fall again.  Because I’m higher up than I ever have been before.  And if you fall from higher up… it hurts more when you hit rock bottom, I assume.

But maybe, if I fall again, maybe I won’t fall all the way.  Maybe this time, I’m stronger.  I hope so.

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One thought on “Am I Finally “Normal?”

  1. Your last paragraph reminded me of something Lucinda Bassett, of the Attacking Anxiety and Depression program, said about going backwards. You know too much to go back to where you once were. That is a thought I remind myself whenever I get that random panic attack out of nowhere.

    Your momentum may slow, but you are doing more than most. Take pride in that!

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