Defining Normal

Jacqueline Oeschger - Senegal


November 27, 2018

I’m having a hard time defining normal. Considering I have never once in my life been called this, nor can I say I associate with it in nearly any way. But, after shaving my brothers head, stepping over half dead crickets and chicken bones to get to my room I turned around and looked at the carnage behind me and thought, “is this normal“. And I realized, I don’t have a real example to it compare it to.

For the past four years I lived on a floor with 50 other girls all sharing six toilets and three showers. I’ve seen the worst of what 50 girls can do. When I’m at home I have to walk through my mothers dining room turned costume shop and my insane cat’s art project of the day; which is usually a ball of yarn that extends to every floor and room of the house. Is that normal?

You see my dilemma. I have no “normal” to base anything off of. I mean, is it normal to ride in a tank for fun as a kid? Is it normal to move every two years? Is it normal to have your best friend live three rooms away from you? Maybe not for you, but this was what I had gotten used to.

So maybe the next time I walk 5 meters out of my house to dump my trash into a hole dug by my brother, I’ll consider what my family sees as normal.

And it seems like crickets of chicken it is.

Jacqueline Oeschger