… so happy you stopped by!
Glad you found your way to my quiet little corner on the front porch! Have a seat and a cup of comfort – and let me introduce myself. I’m Norm – Norm L., to be exact. Relax, and let’s talk a little ….
As you may have noticed from my blog subtitle, I’m here to share about my journey – many journeys, in a way – but mainly, what I call my journey towards authenticity. I wasted too much of my life trying to be someone I wasn’t. Maybe you have, at times, as well – seeking acceptance through conformity, reassurance through routine. But, like probably most everyone must sooner or later (the latter for me), I realized I needed to find a path to discovering, accepting and becoming – “me”. Problem was – a lot of what I’d been brought up to believe was, well, “normal” – wasn’t working out. Eventually I decided – I was going to let go of what didn’t work, focus on just being – or, more accurately, becoming – NormL, and just find the courage and strength to be the best me I can be. After spending most of my life trying to be someone I was not, I am focused now on becoming the person I could have been all along.
― Maya Angelou
Some background? I was born in 1958, a descendant of western pioneers from many parts of the world, and have spent my life entirely in California. My parents divorced early in my life; you’ll read about them, and other family, now and then. I was shy, loved music and fiction and movies, and grew up on the lower end of the income scale for my hometown of Corona; I was raised in a traditional church, which didn’t fit well with my very non traditional attraction to boys. After college I focused on my career (accounting); I buried myself in work, and escaped when I could to Disneyland. I was lonely and conflicted after years in the ex gay movement, finally “coming out” in my 50’s. My life has gone through massive changes in the nearly a decade since then; I moved to San Francisco in 2017, got married in 2018 to a wonderful husband, went through even more unexpected changes in the year plus since then, and am exploring my new home. I love history, and I am devoting time to exploring and documenting my own family history, so that will be shared in some of my posts now and then. My husband and I both retired “pre COVID”, and are building our new lives, together.
I open my heart here – to myself, to some who know me, and many I will never meet. I believe without openness and authenticity, we water down our truths – and lose the power to truly help one another. We all have feelings of being “different”, not “enough”, and yes, not loved. It takes courage to let go of our cages – we know those walls so well, the unknown waits outside. their comfort. It takes strength to learn to walk anew; sometimes, our level of desperation has to reach a point where we are drowning before we can find that strength and courage. I find in writing, in being vulnerable, that I can sift through the noise of the everyday, and find in the quiet within, what is worth holding on to.
My goal in writing is simple – that by sharing my own journey, someone somewhere may gain a glimmer of hope. The hope I did not find sooner in life, when I felt alone, not knowing where I could or would ever fit in. I’d like to think by opening my heart, to whomever finds their way here, my words will reach someone who needs them. In many ways, this blog is all about how I began down the long road to grow, change, explore, question, and discover. How to move past the thinking I’d accepted most of my life as “unquestionable”, and learn to be open to new questions, and newer answers.
There’s a subtle differentiation in how I describe my journey – not “to” authenticity, but “towards” it. Progress, not perfection – accepting, perhaps even celebrating, the imperfect that will always cling to me as I find my way forward. I try to work towards being a seeker of truth – it’s buried deep in me, and even when answers aren’t available, I don’t turn away from the questions. I do see life through a framework of a larger reality, one I don’t understand but that exists nevertheless. I do believe in a loving creator, something well beyond and above what we can understand and “know” or prove; and although I readily, emphatically and totally agree that organized religions have created a lot of damage in many ways … I also know that faith has created a lot of good in our world. So, please know that while I don’t pretend to have the answers, in fact I think letting go of wanting answers is an important part of being our best selves.
Since I first posted in spring of 2020, I realized that trying to offer a bit more structure to my posts might be helpful to those who wander in. So, I have classified my “explorations” into four categories – “New Life”; “History”; “San Francisco and distant corners”; and “Faith”. You can read more about them on my “these are my quests” page.
I invite you to explore to your hearts content, stop by anytime, and let me know your thoughts. I’m happy to have you come along now and then.
Normal is overrated – be yourself. If there is one lesson I continue to be reminded of in life, it is this – the best gift you have to offer to our world is your truest, most authentic self. I will try to offer that here. I close with the lyrics from my favorite song; the discovery never ends. As my husband Bob says, “Welcome to Norm’s world”.
Lyrics from “Nature Boy” – my favorite song.
I continue to work on learning – opening my heart and discovering new hopes.