• R. Rene'-

What defines Normal?

I am a girl, a woman, a lady with many thoughts, who can sometimes be emotional yet still connected. Bearer of child or childless, free to speak, free to write, free to live and free to choose. I fly on airplanes, dance with my friends, kiss and hug my loved ones and smile a bunch... I argue, I defend, I apologize and forgive..during the weekend I attend cool events, go to church, work daily and mentor the youth....I would call all of the above pretty normal wouldn't you? I can talk and text, play on IG and respond to emails. I can wake up tomorrow and say I want to be ..........anything I want and go for it...again that's normal right....

Greetings Peeps! I write today in hopes that each of you are embracing the beauty of this fabulous Sunday afternoon. For a moment I would like to share some thoughts and insight if you will on the things we consider the NORM. I had an opportunity this past week to experience a live concert by one of my favorite R & B/Soul Artist in Philly; from there I took a train ride north to the Big Apple for a business meeting. Since I had a little extra time I said When in New York, Be a New Yorker! :) What that meant for me was simple, eat a large slice of pizza (after my meeting of course), ride the regular subway across town...hail a taxi in heels and jump out in flats for my rush-hour walk. In the midst of all my moving I realized that everything I did was really quite normal to those who live on the east coast. The busy city, crowded subways, 400 sq. ft. apartments, homes with no backyards and street parking only signs everywhere this for some is normal. It actually convicted me tad bit because when I first moved to the DC area all I could do was compare it to Tennessee. The way they lived, the hospitality, the yard and driveways... The cost and let's not forget the slowness, lack of entertainment, no beaches or public transportation but again I realized for people in the southern region of the US this friends is the NORM!So many of the things that are NORMAL to those in another region are not likely desirable to those in other regions... but does that mean it's NOT NORMAL? Not at all... Some people come from the same city, same family, and same upbringing and are still completely different and functioning in a personal state of normality. We as a people must come to the understanding that just because what we are doing and how we are living is NORMAL to us does NOT always make it the NORM for others. Normal is a state of personal being... Webster’s dictionary describes it as “conforming to the standard or the common type" ....Who creates the standard of your life? - You do! If you are more of a trendsetter than a trend follower than you will never be NORMAL...or let's rephrase that - what others define as NORMAL.

I want to encourage each of you to move from a place of judging those who are NOT like you! For condemning people and places for being their own GOD defined version of normal. For example, I learned that my mom is not a fan of the inner- city living aspect of major metropolitans...she always tends to fall in love with the suburbs aka Maryland, Nashville, etc.. I realized one reason is because those areas remind her of her normal and that's what we tend to be attracted to. So when it came time for off-street parking her face was priceless (where’s the driveway?) lol. So many times this type of mindset keeps many from living fully because they can't grasp the concept of a NEW NORMAL. We fear being removed from the comfort of our own normal even though we barely have an appreciation for it until we see a version that's worst then ours.

After watching a documentary covering the live of 7 girls in 7 different countries it made me realize just how blessed I am to be born a woman in the US! Something we take for granted on a daily. Some of these girls had big dreams no support, disowned by family- 1 could choose who she would marry while the other could scene showed several women who went to have babies but brought their own pillows and no medication for 8 hours of labor , no doctors or fancy birthing suites..floors as beds and parents abusing children by selling them for cash to live....but that my friends was their normal....and why we may not always agree with the NORMAL of others we have no right to see ours as the only NORMAL alive because it is NOT! We were just fortunate to be given examples or blue prints of a positive normal and not all people were.

As you go into this work week take some time to understand and define your normal and the normal of others...As one of my buddies always says FIND it, Define it and OWN IT! (My two cents - don't IMPOSE IT unless asked). Don't miss the opportunity to experience something on the outside that may be good for your inside!

Live Fully, Live Freely!

R. Rene'





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