The other weekend, amidst a lazy morning on the couch with my boyfriend and college football, I asked him if he thought it was weird that our interaction with each other is so easy and effortless. He looked at me like I was crazy, like “easy and effortless” were “normal.”
Oh wait. It is.
If you’re anything like me and you’ve lived in chaos most of your life, or if you’ve had abuse or a lot of drama in past relationships, you’re probably going to be really uncomfortable with the sense of ease that comes from being in a healthy relationship with a nice guy.
I spent a lot of time among some emotional chaos, and I’m also a very active and analytical person. I spent most of my life attracted to movement, change, noise, high emotionality, and people who needed me to fix them. Sound familiar? But none of that was ever really good for me. When I would land in a quiet stable situation, l learned to kick up a little dust to make myself more comfortable.
I realize that’s what self sabotaging people do, but that’s what “normal” was for me. Normal was walking on eggshells to not make him mad. Normal was letting him do what he wanted, and not speaking up despite hurt feelings. Normal was dumbing myself down and playing down my strengths. Normal was not calling him out on his lie, and worrying about who he was cheating on me with THIS time. Normal was being afraid.
You know what I just learned? Normal is actually having your partner call you back when you ask him to. It’s having someone actually listen to you, and respect you, and acknowledge your feelings. It’s communicating your intentions. It’s realizing that if he wants to spend time with you, he will make the effort, and recognizing and appreciating when he does. Because he will. Because that’s what normal people do.
Normal is being appreciated.
What. The. Fuck.
It’s going to feel weird. In fact, It’s going to freak you the fuck out because normal-ness and happiness and trust and fulfillment are so foreign to you that you won’t know what to do with yourself. You’re going to feel vulnerable in a brand new way and it’s going to be really scary. But it’s going to open you up, and it’s going to give you a point of view you didn’t even know you wanted to see.
Apparently, I’ve been doing “normal” wrong this whole damn time. But I’m redefining the word with the help of a really great guy and regular old happiness.