Life and 'your' normal

I spoke with a friend of mine last night who works in higher education. We compared our experiences with what felt like 'normal' and even though we are the same age (nearly literally, her birthday is a week after mine) she felt like she was one of the eldest in her department - almost all of her interactions are with students and student volunteers. She laughed that she once in a while felt out of place because of the age difference - she was usually 10 years older than people she worked with. On the other side, I finally am no longer the youngest in the IT department, but am 10 years younger than most of my coworkers. I don't feel out of touch, but sometimes feel out of place.

I wouldn't have it any other way, though. My brothers and cousins are between 10 and 14 years older than me, and growing up in a rural area meant that there wasn't a collection of similarly aged children to interact with outside of school. I got used to being mostly by myself, or interacting with people not in my age group.

It's interesting to realize that 'your' normal isn't necessarily the same experience that others had. My first video games interaction was with Atari, but most people my age had their first video game console as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Since I had older brothers, they were interested in Atari, and that's how I was introduced into video games.

As life continues on, normal continues to be abnormal. I work with databases all the time. My friend works with medical students. She uses Twitter to engage with students, faculty, conference speakers and finds it a helpful platform to make connections. I think I still have my Twitter account. I haven't used it in years, though.

In the end, though, it doesn't matter how normal your normal is. Life is what you make of it.

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