Chasing Normal: Growing Up, Letting Go, and Finding Joy in Being Different

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In a time where many feel lost, alone, or afraid—and where social media make us think that everyone has it better, bigger, or brighter—Chasing Normal is a humorous and poignant memoir about learning to embrace yourself, along with the messy life you lived that made you who you are today.

As a kid growing up in Indiana surrounded by cornfields and deep poverty, with two emotional terrorists for parents, all Craig Greiwe ever wanted was to be normal. In his youth, he lived under the stairs in Dickensian misery, until he was abandoned at the age of fourteen. Once he managed to make it to college, things got about as weird as might be expected for a teenager who grew up reading The 1978 World Book Encyclopedia for kicks. From an emotional breakdown at the top of a mountain at one school to setting off a chain of events that nearly blew apart Columbia Law School a few years after that, his life was anything but normal. Along the way, he found a long-distance foster mom 2,000 miles away; slept his way to success in Hollywood; had his heart broken; discovered secrets about the people who raised him; and was finally adopted by Norman-Rockwell-esque parents at the age of twenty-four. Chasing Normal is the story of a man who grew up trying to be like everyone else, only to realize that being yourself is the only way forward. His stories range from wild to painful and sometimes humorous, but ultimately, they are a journey about compassion, salvation, and eventually, joy. Chasing Normal stands out as a hopeful beacon for anyone who’s ever felt “other”—which is just about everyone. Like a lighthouse on a hill, this book offers direction to an illuminating place where we can learn to embrace ourselves, no matter how messy a life we lived.