What Is Normal, Even?

Isn’t it weird how quickly we adapt to changes? We’re able to redefine what’s “normal” through our experiences in a remarkably short amount of time.

I lived in the US for a few years. Well, “the US”. It was Florida (har har). Anyways, living there I was used to driving all the time, having AC EVERYWHERE, etc. Then I moved to Bogotá and I was struck by how odd everything was. The city felt so… cramped and there was so much traffic! Driving was suddenly a huge waste of time, and taking public transportation was usually the best option. In addition to that, only the fanciest of fancy places had air conditioning, everywhere else just dealt with the weather.

It’s been six and a half years since I moved here, and now I like to laugh at Americans who can’t imagine a world without constant air conditioning. My position changed completely, and my perspective on what’s “normal” did too.

Recently at work, I realised I wasn’t putting any effort into my voice. I was just speaking, and out came this feminine voice. I thought it was interesting, so I decided to try to focus even less and just see what happened. Consistently, even at my most relaxed, my voice was a woman’s voice, and all of the people I was talking to on the phone referred to me as Miss, or Ma’am.

So on my next break, I went somewhere a bit isolated where others wouldn’t hear me, and tried to speak in my old guy voice.

I couldn’t.

It took me a few minutes of focusing and experimenting with my voice until I finally remembered what I had to do bring the resonance of my voice down. Even then, it sounded like a low but still feminine voice. I finally gave up trying. At some point in the last few months, my ‘natural voice’ changed completely, and is now a whole different gender than what it was a year ago.

It isn’t just my voice though. A year and a half ago, I would relish the chance to sneak into my mum’s makeup cabinet, and steal a bit of lipstick and mascara so I could smear it all over my face while no one was home. Nowadays, makeup is just a 5-10 minute part of my morning routine. It’s nice, but it’s no big deal. Suddenly wearing dresses is just about comfort or perhaps taking the weather into account, where before it was a HUGE occasion to wear a dress, and I would get a huge boost in my mood for days.

This extends to other parts of my life. I can’t see myself studying in a school or college again. I have a little bit of trouble imagining what life was before I had a job. Etc, etc.

I’ve been thinking about this for a few days now, but to be completely honest, I don’t know what conclusion to reach about it. There’s certainly something interesting to be said about the way the experiences we choose  and live through, change who we are. Ultimately, is the change in what we consider normal, everyday, or natural down to circumstance, making our personalities and identity kites being blown about by the winds of life, or do we choose what we become by the actions we take and the situations we place ourselves in?

I don’t know. What do you think about this?

I know this is a very short post, but I was mugged yesterday night and have been busy feeling frustrated about it, and starting all the annoying processes I have to go through to get a new ID, new medical insurance card, and new credit/debit cards. I’m all right, by the way, the mugging was as positive an experience as a mugging can go. The muggers only took my purse, which contained a little umbrella (good for them), a girly deodorant (so they can smell all pretty and feminine), a book I was reading (they’d better treat it with respect), and my wallet with about 8 bucks and my twin sets of male and female ID (would love to have sees their faces when they went through my wallet and saw that).
Most importantly, they didn’t take my cell phone so SUCK IT MUGGERS.


I hope you liked this post, brief as it was. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, whatever they are, so please comment below! 🙂




2 thoughts on “What Is Normal, Even?

  1. Jen says:

    That’s really interesting that your voice is completely changed without you trying any longer. I’m glad!
    5-10 minutes to put on makeup? If I put on makeup (which I rarely do) it would take me an awful lot longer than that! Practice makes perfect, I suppose.
    Sorry to hear you were mugged. Glad you kept your phone!


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