Normal?

I have always known that I am not like other people.  When I was very little, three or four years old, I had already had some experiences that my playmates could not relate to; nothing bad, just not the norm.   As I grew, I seemed to have physical confirmation that I was indeed different.  Medicines affect me differently than the rest of my family.  For example, malaria medicine makes me deathly sick, while making the rest of my family feel so much better.

My mindset is not the same as my parents or my siblings, either.  I don’t know where I got my way of looking at life.  I can only assume that I must have inherited it from some ancestor whom I never met.  For a few years, I truly felt that I must be adopted; later, I found that was not the case.  I think because of this, I have always found genetics to be quite mysterious and maybe not very scientific.  Had the thought occurred to me, I probably would have studied genetics to some degree when I was in college.

It comes down to the age old question of nature versus nurture.  With exactly the same two genetic parents and the same upbringing, my three siblings and I are all very different from each other, as are my three sons.  We don’t even physically resemble each other that much.  Sure, there are a few things that confirm to us that we are indeed from the same family; certain traits that pop up and reveal themselves as old acquaintances.  However, our thought patterns and our conclusions to various problems are quite varied.

I was just thinking about my deceased grandparents, wishing they were still alive and that I could talk to them; maybe ask their opinions on certain things.  I also recognize that none of their children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren appears to have taken after them very much.  Sure, there might be a particular trait once in a while in one of us that is like them, but basically when they died they took their traits with them.  Well, maybe the similar traits are only noticeable to those who are not part of the family.  I look around at other families, where I have personally met three or more generations, and what strikes me is how similar they are.  Maybe I just can’t see the forest for the trees.

Having said all of the above, I am not complaining.  I like not being similar to everyone else.  In fact when choosing a book, if the description says something like “Mary Sue just wanted to be normal” that is a complete turn-off to me, and I skip that book and move on to find something more my style.  Personally, I don’t like being like everyone else.  I don’t know why in every book or TV show the characters are all trying to “fit-in” and be normal.  If I had a superpower, I can guarantee, there would be no inner conflict on my part due to the fact that I was not like everyone else.  I do understand the need for secrecy in such a case, though; and I can totally understand the need for a Clark Kent persona.  I am just saying that I wouldn’t be upset that I wasn’t like everyone else, and it wouldn’t take me 80% of the book to come to grips and embrace who I really was.  On the other hand, it might take me a while to get over being lied to about it.

So, here is a shout-out to all of you out there who are not normal and don’t fit in.  Congratulations!  Embrace who you are, especially the differences.  Normal is overrated.

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