What is Normal?

In the beginning of time, Blank begat Person, who begat So-and-So, who begat Such-and-Such, et cetera, et cetera… The beginning of a long line of same shit, different day consisting of trying to be “normal” in society: make a living, fall in love, make money for retirement, grow old, and well, you know, die eventually. It’s been like this for centuries, and even more so since we stopped having to worry about being chased by lions, tigers, and bears (oh my). At least I am prone to believing that it was a lot harder to think about a career or retirement in primitive and early human history…

What is normal in relation to living a life?

I work two jobs, as an apartment manager and at a sandwich shop for a total of 60+ hours a week. I also own a very small business, and just signed up to drive for Uber to help grow my savings on my free time. Is that normal? No, probably not, but it’s my normal. I have my own place to live, a wonderful dog named Azzurri, and FIFA 16; at this point in my life that’s all I really need.

The reality though, is that most of the people in America are working multiple jobs 40 or more hours a week to try and save money to enjoy their life the way they desire. I include myself among this group, and the odds are that you are also one of the tens of millions of people in this country doing the same in trying to break through the lower class and into the middle class. Trying to break through your worries of being able to pay your rent or mortgage, your utilities, your cable, your internet, your phone bill, your car and insurance, your medical needs, gas, and lest we forget about food, and those of these that apply for the ones you take care of as well. Not to mention paying for emergencies… The list goes on.

How are we supposed to find the ability, drive, and motivation to break through when we work so much just to survive? So many of us are already working so hard to provide for the level we are already at that we hardly even have time to plan for the future.

Some politicians say that if you can afford cable TV, a gaming system, and other “luxury” items then you aren’t really doing that bad for yourself. Well, all I have to say is they likely haven’t ever lived a day in shoes even closely resembling the average American citizen.

My degree sits menacingly on my desk, reminding me that I could pursue a career in accounting, but the field doesn’t inspire me right now. People tell me it’s a good field and pays well, but I’m 27 going on 28 and sitting in a desk all day is not how I’d like to spend my next few years. With my job as an apartment manager I get my rent and utilities covered and get to spend all day at home with my dog and make his life better than if I was at an office all day. That makes me feel a lot better than if I had the money to do things I want but didn’t get to experience his life with him. It hurts enough having to leave him at home when I am at my other job as it is, because I know how much he loves me and misses me every time I leave him.

There is a lot of pressure to pursue a career though right now. Not necessarily coming from anyone, but from the knowledge that I know I am not wanting to work two jobs for my whole life and the reality that I can’t manage an apartment building forever.

When people find out I have an accounting degree at the sandwich shop most of them ask why I am even there. I feel a little let down every time I answer, because I know how it sounds when I say I have an accounting degree and I am working in a sandwich shop, but I just tell them the same thing with a smile: I work two jobs and my apartment and sandwiches are free, so I am just trying to enjoy my twenties with my dog for now, and I give them the best damn sandwich I can make in the process because I take pride in my work, a job well done, and happy customers.

Is my life normal? No, probably not, but it’s my normal, and I’m happy to be where I am. At least for now, of course.

Tell me what your normal is and what you think it should be in the comments!

I want to hear what others’ experiences are and your thoughts on the subject of what is normal in society. One of the best ways we can try to understand the world is through others’ experiences and any chance I have to hear about someone’s views I am open to their perspective.

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