Stop Trying to be Normal

“Out of fear of the unknown, conformity earned the title normal. Anything that deviates is considered abnormal.”

It’s been a great day and as it comes to an end, I can only get back to do one other thing that I love. Penning down this piece for you. On this day I decided to tour the county of Makueni to visit a friend of mine. One of those trips you take up and wish you could have more of them because that’s what great friendships and company translates to. Being a pharmacist by profession, if we were to go by societal constraints on how a pharmacist should carry themselves she’d be considered an anomaly. Well, it may be but for the better part of it I’m amazed and that’s why I am writing this piece in her honour.

Early this year when COVID-19 set in, schools were closed which meant that students had an unknown period of time to be home. Not having planned for such a turn of events, most people took this time to relax and unwind. It’s great to get rest but now as it clocks a year, it’d be considered wasted being there isn’t much that’s been accomplished. Luckily, we had the chance of instituting the Ryculture COVDID-19 Research Task Force over this period with the aim of providing pharmacy students and young pharmacists an opportunity to contribute to the national response to COVID-19 through research. She happened to join this team which was the foundation of our friendship and as a norm, in Ryculture we are a family. We relate at a personal level to know what’s going on in our lives at a person level to be able to stand by each other. It was through these engagements that she told me that while staying home, she ventured in tomato farming which was taking much of her time while earning her some money rather than sitting still awaiting the pandemic to subside. So today I decide to visit her and I was beyond amazed if you can quantify that then you probably have an “amazo-meter”.

Over time I’ve been accustomed to the notion of people looking for and hoping for jobs which I acknowledge to be a good thing. However, it’s also better to go against the grain some times. That’s what I noticed in her situation and it’s not only about her but the family as well. Her younger brother in Grade Seven took over in taking care of their animals and has acquired a calf of his own by running small errands. Such industriousness isn’t a norm but the exception. We should nurture more of such for it’s only through the youth that we open up spaces into a future we hope for.

On my way back I kept thinking through it and imagined how much I’ve seen people struggling to fit into a norm that’s not normal for them. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to embrace what we want to pursue and avoid being boxed. On that note, I remembered that as we pursue normalcy we get more abnormal. At the very least we end up being fake versions of others which may never be as fulfilling for us. Why not stay normal?

As I sign off; I can’t be more proud of Dr. Tomatoes (the Farmacist who is a Pharmacist). You need any supplies in Makueni, Matiliku Area, rest assured we’ve got you with the best quality tomatoes. Just mention it:-)

“Don’t think out of the box. Just think, there was no box to think from for a start.”

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