Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Living the Dream June 9, 2013

When I was a puppy, I longed to be “normal.” I had this image of what my life should look like and it was so different than what it was. I don’t mean to say I wasn’t happy as I’d ever dreamed to be with my mom and brothers. Living on the streets taught me so many valuable lessons about the meaning of family and the importance of finding joy in the little things. But I could tell right away that I was different from my puppy brothers.

While we shared a scavenger’s sense of survival, my brothers looked a little different than me. (More like their dad, I gathered, since I was almost a spitting image of my mom). I even remember feeling kind of left out around them, like the odd puppy out. It’s me, I thought, I’m not like the others.

Living the DreamIt surprised me when I felt the same way after getting separated from my mom and brothers. I was still just a pup, and I would have thought being out on my own would make me feel adult. Instead I was scared, alone, and again longing for normalcy without even really knowing exactly what it looked like.

All-the-while I felt like something about me was holding me back somehow, especially when I was at the humane society. I know I didn’t think like other dogs, and I certainly didn’t look like them. The majority of visitors overlooked me for puppies, and those who did visit me often mistook me for either a puppy or a girl.

I would have found this all incredibly discouraging if not for my innate desire to find the good to be grateful for each day. And on days when I couldn’t think of anything, I gave thanks for my hope for normalcy. I knew there was something better, something normal, in my future.

But there is this something abnormal about normalcy. I think it’s kind of like how people in my country have this concept of an “American Dream.” It’s all relative. Perhaps the bigger we dream, the more this comes into focus. What is normal anyway? The more my adult mind analyzes the concept, the more I realize the negative connotations of the word. Normal has a boring ring to it, and almost sounds like something below average. Instead I find myself gravitating to the abnormal, which (to me) is more exciting.

Sure, when I was a puppy “normal” seemed like the only way to go. Throughout my life I faced challenges on my path to normalcy that made me who I am today. But today I no longer wish to be normal. Instead I accept that my place in life is among the extraordinarily abnormal. It always has been and always will be. That, my friends, is my American Dream coming to life.


28 Responses to “Living the Dream”

  1. You sure are extra-ordinary Wiley! And Mama says you are so cute, if she met you she’d turn into the kissymonster! Wooowoooooo! Ku

  2. Lyn Says:

    You are “Wiley normal” and that’s pretty extraordinary.
    Lyn and Cally xxx

  3. and whose to say what’s normal? I think every one defines their own normal.

  4. I’m with you, Wiley. Being extraordinarily abnormal is the way to go. You go, DOG!

  5. You are so right Wiley. I’m sure being “normal” would bore us both silly!
    I don’t really think it would be much fun either. But it is always very
    important to find the good in all situations and people.

  6. JackieP Says:

    You are an abnormally handsome guy Wiley. Just be you and you’ll be happy and so will your human.

  7. Basil Says:

    There is nothing normal about you!!

  8. […] My American Dream | Wiley’s Wisdom […]

  9. Maybe normal is in the eye of the beholder, like beauty?

  10. Rock on, little buddy. Being extraordinary is WAY more fun than being ordinary. When Mom says, “Why can’t you be normal?” I say (inside my head) “I don’t even know what that means!!!”

    Love and licks,

  11. […] and ultimate acceptance of being anything but ordinary. Just yesterday I explored my quest for normalcy to better understand the uniqueness that is me. So you can imagine my surprise when today of all days I ran into my brother from another mother at […]

  12. Nikitaland Says:

    I always say “be yourself”! Be who you want to be, don’t try to keep up with anyone else or try to be someone else – – be yourself. Let the inner you SHINE! {{hugs & kissies}}} Nikita & Bella

  13. […] My American Dream | Wiley’s Wisdom […]

  14. Reblogged this on Wiley's Wisdom and commented:

    “Normalcy” and dog-hood don’t always coincide.

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