01 May 2007

Weird vs. Uncommon

I originally wrote this in August 2005 but thought it was somewhat pertinent to some other thoughts I've seen floating around out there, so here it is:

I don't know...it was a thought today in the car. I was thinking about families and how family members are sometimes the most effective at making each other feel most 'normal' or 'abnormal.'

And I thought I want to be careful about that with those around me and with myself. I am a fairly uncommon person. I have a fairly uncommon mix of interests and tastes.

Growing up, there were times I just felt 'weird,' like a bit of a freak because of what I was and was not interested in. Most guys are just 'normal' guys, and they like it that way. They worry if they like or do something that's not 'normal'. But I didn't want to be 'normal'--I wanted to be, well, me.

And I guess that's the crux of the thing: being 'abnormal' is really just being 'uncommon'. Don't get me wrong--there are bad abnormalities, in my opinion. But if there's nothing contrary to gospel principles in someone's traits, why should anyone harp on them to be more 'normal'? We're only insisting they be 'common'.

And that led to the possibly more important part of my thought: I've accepted things about me that are uncommon or abnormal. And I have realized that most of those things are really not THAT weird and unusual, after all, even if I am a very unusual critter when the mish mash that is me is put together. And it's great in a lot of ways.

There's just one danger in it: complacency.

And I'm not just talking about SGA here, but it applies.

When does accepting normality become a stumbling block to becoming more? When does embracing your normality and your 'real' human ordinary...-ness become a stumbling block to becoming EXTRAordinary? To be extraordinary is where huge rewards are found, right?

When I've accepted my normality and seen it for what it is, shouldn't that then motivate me to build on it rather than let it become stagnant?

These thoughts may not be completely coherent, but I guess reading it reminded me of some things: while trying to learn to function comfortably in the society of others, which I believe to be a worthwhile goal if done for good reasons, don't lose touch with 'you'. Don't confuse 'uncommon' with 'freakish' or 'inadequate'. And don't stress over being 'uncommon' because if everyone was 'common', this world would not be worth experiencing. There are some traits we develop for no good reason and which can be let go, and there are others which are unusual but part of the more beautiful and uniquely precious parts of you, and those should probably not be sacrificed to becoming 'normal'. Strive to become more, to broaden your abilities and personality, but don't let go of yourself in the process.

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