People often make remarks about how "unique" I am. Good or bad (hopefully mostly good), I have a cheesy sense of humor, awkward comedic timing, and am shamelessly clumsy. Which is ironic, because as a career counselor, I am supposed to say all of the "right" things and knows all kinds of important information in order to send students on the right path. A job like mine requires being a "normal" human being, right??
Oh, to be normal. I can't stop focusing on this one word. Normal. I have never felt like I was "normal" (again, mostly in a good way) but as I got older, I embraced the qualities I possessed that helped me gravitate toward the people and places in my life that make me the most happy. My family and close friends are all unique in their own ways, and I would not be the person I am without their influence. They make me happy, and gosh darn it, I like being happy.
I mentioned in my first post that I am trying to adjust to a new version of "normal." What I thought was going to be my normal is no longer my normal. It's hard not to think about what "should" be, instead of what "is."
I *should* be 27 weeks pregnant.
I *should* be having my first baby shower this weekend.
I *should* be in my third trimester.
I *should* be huge and swollen and uncomfortable.
I *should* be 13 weeks away from taking Jack home.
But I'm not. This is life, and it's hard sometimes. Two months ago, I was so blissfully happy when thinking about what life was going to be.... nothing could upset me. Now, thinking about what *should* have been can wipe the smile right off of my face.
I think that the only way for us to move forward is to be reminded that this, right here, right now, is normal. What we're feeling is normal and how we behave is normal, because this is our life and this is how it is supposed to go. We cannot live our lives focusing on what *should* be. I can think about what might be, but I have to accept that all of those *shoulds* were a dream, and this is reality. It may seem unfair, but it's not up to me. For some reason, Jack is not with us here, and as much as I think that he should be, he is not. The only thing I wish for is that losing him will serve a greater purpose than I will ever understand.
All in all, I think I'm starting to realize that normal is a relative term. Some people may think I'm normal, others abnormal, and still others won't know what to make of me. Here's an example:
This is a picture of my lovely sister-in-law and my other "sister" Mark. And that's me, giving a closed-finger peace sign. I have no idea why - I was tired that night. Strangers might see this picture and think: "Why can't that girl make a proper peace sign??" But my friends and family that know and love me will look at this picture and think "Yep, that's Audra." I love that. This is the normal me, to them.
This hazy phase in my life after Jack makes me feel uneasy many times throughout the day, but that is normal... for me... right now. And someday soon, my normal will once again be happy and carefree, but also with wonderful memories of a son that changed my life forever.