“Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.” – attributed to Albert Camus. Camus is one of my favorite writers and philosophers, and I agree with this quote wholeheartedly. I don’t try to be weird or different on purpose – I simply try to follow my heart.
In early sobriety, I didn’t know much about myself. Really, I didn’t know who I was. What did I like? What did I dislike? For so many years, I was basically molding myself to other peoples’ expectations.
One of my recovery sponsors and mentors taught me that, for instance, it was okay to be quiet and shy. It was okay to be a little weird. I didn’t have to have the same interests as everyone else. I didn’t have to agree with what everyone else did, nor did I have to seek validation from anyone.
This quote from Camus reminds me that conformity does, in fact, require more energy than it’s worth. It’s easier to just be one’s self, in whatever form that may take. Some people think it’s silly to read philosophy books, but I’ve come to find great comfort in it. That’s just one example.
Albert Camus was a French Algerian philosopher and writer who was active in the mid-20th century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1957 when he was just forty-four years old.
Camus championed a philosophy known as “absurdism,” which he detailed in his book, The Myth of Sisyphus. He also wrote novels, including The Plague, which I’ve reviewed on the blog before.