At the time I'm writing this, there's a lot of talk about "getting back to normal." If you're reading to this after the stay at home orders are lifted, you're probably already thinking "Great, another covid story..." But what I really want to talk about is that word Normal.
I don't know how many times I've heard the phrase "The New Normal" which is to say normal isn't the same normal. Normal changed. No, that thing that was normal isn't normal, this other thing is normal.
Normal is a myth.
What does it exactly mean to "Get back to normal" when Normal is always changing? They say the only constant is change, and that definitely means there is never a constant normal.
My problem with the word "Normal" in this case, the "getting back to normal" is that it implies that there was a normal we can go back to. And if that's the case, did none of this happen?
Obviously, it did happen. There is no way that this never happened. We shouldn't forget, we shouldn't let this fall into some dream state. So often we have a traumatic event and say we will always remember, but we kind of ignore that event, and we try to foget because we're struggling to get back to that ideal of "normal" and in doing so we try to pretend things that really mattered, didn't.
The human race and its civilization is fragile. THAT is normal. Humans have been struggling against a changing world for eons. We thrive because we take those challenges and learn from them. We adapt. We find a new "normal" and then get ready for that to change again.
I hope that we all grow and learn and find new and interesting things from this experience, but if we learn anything, it's that nothing ever is, or ever was normal, because Normal doesn't really exist.