Remember the scene in Young Frankenstein where Igor is telling Dr. FRONKenschteen about the brain from someone named Abby Normal? That's what I think of every time normal/abnormal comes up.
I have gone through all of my life feeling quite abnormal.
Let me start off by saying I am completely comfortable in my own skin now, but it took decades of my life to get there.
Time and maturation have taught me how to interact with people, enough that now it feels normal and I can be good at it, but I didn't start out that way.
I have always enjoyed alone time, even though I also thrive in and enjoy social settings and people in general. That alone time helps me process and reset. It's a time to perfect some new skill or think deeply about anything under the sun.
I remember having what I assume are normal childish desires--that never really go away--of wanting to fit in. I never was the cool kid, and it was a pathetic sight whenever I attempted to be cool. (As an adult, I now see that as long as someone is not a selfish jerk, being authentic is the real cool. It's exhausting trying to be someone else.)
It's always been easy for me to hyper-focus on a project to the exclusion of everything else, much of which still needs attention during that time--such as children. Granted, a screaming child does wonders to break that hyper-focus.
I naturally see in black and white, but I have learned to see the grays, to look at and understand different perspectives, even if in the end, I still have a conclusion congruent with my original thought on the matter. In any case, it has grown my skills in empathy.
I think in lines, boxes, and categories. Compartmentalization comes naturally.
I work very hard to perfect any new skill I learn. Whether with singing, theater, dancing, sewing, handyman projects, or anything, I repeat the process over and over until I can do it in my sleep.
I can eat the exact same food for days on end and not get tired of it. Food is enjoyable, but in the end, it becomes an interruption in my day. I'm trying to learn a different perspective, learn to savor the bites. And I'm, of course, very thankful to God for supplying the needs of my family and me.
I hate shopping, and most of the ladies I know absolutely love it and will go the the ends of the earth to find a deal.
I'd rather pay booku bucks for exactly what I want that's not on sale if I can find it in 2 seconds flat--which is about how long it takes me to find what I want when the store has it.
Items have always popped out at me. I don't know why.
Even yesterday, I pulled out a few black pencil skirts to try on, and it was the very first one I pulled that I ended up buying. It was the one that popped out to me from the start.
Houses have popped out. Cars have popped out. Clothes. Dishes. Furniture. Rugs. Bicycles. (I still have and love the first bicycle I purchased as a teenager. Red Cannondale. It popped out right off the bat when I went shopping.)
Income opportunities. Ideas.
I have ideas all the time, but there are certain ideas that pop. Those are the ones I can look back on in life and realize I have done them, and they were right to do.
Incidentally, I can also look back on life and see that anything, and I mean anything, I had to talk myself into was a mistake.
I remember once as a child, probably 6 years old, telling another child he was dumb. (Wow, did I ever get in trouble for that! And rightfully so.)
But I also remember so clearly not realizing that it was an unkind thing to say. I just was stating what I saw as a fact with a child who had learning disabilities, and I was surprised to get in trouble for it when I hadn't meant to hurt the boy. (Obviously, my parents worked hard to get my filter in working order after that.)
Strangers end up telling me their life stories, then say they don't normally open up like that.
I don't care for gossip or the latest movies and music. Not that I think the movies and music are all bad; I just have no interest in spending my time that way.
I say what I mean. Exactly what I mean. No hinting. No beating around the bush to the point. When you ask me where I want to eat, and I say I don't care, I actually mean that I don't care; and it's not worth my energy trying to find a perfect place.
I feel very deeply, yet my spirit mostly feels calm and smooth. Those thoughts and feelings are always going on underneath the surface, like a computer server that never sleeps, but since it's always running, you have no idea of what all it's actually doing.
What's the point of all this? I'm not exactly sure. Maybe it's part of processing and just accepting who I am. God didn't make a mistake when he formed me.
And God didn't make a mistake when he formed you. If you're being put down because of how you operate (as long as you're not harming others), how you process events or emotions, or because nobody seems to understand you, just know that the world needs you.
You have great things to contribute, and because of your unique abilities, you'll reach someone else in a way a "normal" person can't.
I will keep doing what I can to help others, show kindness and empathy, raise my children--hopefully with good tools to process emotions--and just enjoy life and learn new things.
Maybe everyone is abnormal in some way, and normal is just an abstract idea.