Thursday, June 6, 2013

If you are always trying to be "normal"...

If you are always trying to be "normal"
you will never know how amazing you can be
~Maya Angelou
A lesson, for all of us who want to "fit in."

I think of the words of the author Sebastyne Young, she says that:

"...We all want to be extraordinary
and we all just want to fit in.
Unfortunately, extraordinary people rarely fit in.” 

This feeds into the subject of my post:

In the United States we like to speak of things like "liberty and justice for all" and "all men and women (and children) are created equal, or more accurately:

" We hold these truths to be self-evident, 
that all men are created equal, 
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  "

At least these are the words  that we profess to believe, yet lacking substance these words ring hollow in our ears... we profess, but we (as a society) do not practice our words...we say one thing and do another.

If we as a society profess to hold up, individuality, initiative, productivity, and the rights of the individual one to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, how are we doing this when we hammer down the crooked nail?  When we twist our view of others that are different than us, into some self created monster, or "socially unacceptable."

I have spent much of my life "fitting in."  Many with ASD or ACC learn to parrot or imitate social behavior, and we get quite good at doing so, but we sometimes haven't integrated the "reason for" or "meaning" of that behavior...we learn to fit in to not get beat on, to be more blunt about it.  But because we don't cognize or understand it the way a neuro-typical does our understanding will always be invalidated by those around us.

I am expected to "perform" in society and participate in it.  I tell myself that I'm an outcast amongst my equals.  I know that I am different, I have no issue with my disability or my behavior/participation in the world.  I do take issue though with those that say if I do not adhere to an entirely narrow view of social norms, that I'm to be ridiculed, scorned, beaten, or even worse pitied or felt sorry for.

Having spent a good deal of my (pushing) 51 years trying to "fit in" I realized that I was not the problem, society is at issue here.  We speak of supporting individuality, yet act shocked when others "can't just fit in."  My father said to me for years (over and over again) "why can't you just be like anybody else?"  "why do you have to be so different?"

Why indeed?
Why the HELL NOT?  Why can I not be just as me, as myself, my eloquent but utterly awkward  in public self?  I can in fact, have always, and will be nothing but (speaking of the mundane world) nothing but that.  The meat puppet I inhabit and control is different than yours.   But just who do you think is behind the wheel controlling the thing?  "The individual," that's who...behind the individual is an other One, but that subject is for my other blog At Guru's Feet.

When I discovered that my condition was both genetic, neurologically and not (purely) psychologically induced, that I actually was born with a malformed brain, I rejoiced!  For me it wasn't "oh my god, how awful, poor me, now I can be pitied..." hell no, it wasn't.... rather "I knew it, I just knew it," as in the missing piece of information, the confirmation and physical diagnoses of my congenital brain defect.

From that moment on I fell into a full and complete acceptance of who I was (in the mundane world), and I do not feel "disabled" in any way.  That does not mean I will not need external help the rest of my life (as we all do in some form anyhow), it doesn't mean that I can magically do things I couldn't before, no...but I fully grock that I do not need to change myself to accommodate societies norms, I fully support and live to actualize the idea that I belong in society, I am in integral part of that whole. Without me, society is lacking my unique individuality, and experience and love, and zeal, the whole package.

I have spent so much energy trying to be "normal", which, by the way is nothing but a setting on the dryer, I'm fighting a battle that can never be won.  "Normal" is what current society says it is, why the hell would I want to be that?  If I/we follow strictly the dictates of society how exactly are we upholding life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, if we do not allow individual expressions of it?  Sometime I feel that neuro-typicals feel themselves somehow superior to me/us, pity us, blame us, or simply just want us to go away...we are not like you...

WOW, what a boring life you must have...the sameness, the drudgery of never  allowing yourself to really dream, to think of and become some greater version of  your own individuality...you are so afraid of difference...

I will stand up for myself, and all other-abled people if given the task and opportunity to do so, as I would (in theory) stand for the rights of each individual towards life, liberty and happiness, at least in the worldly sense.  Be ourselves, do not apologize or feel the need to apologize for who you are.  There is a place for all of us in this world, were it not so we would not have been reborn here...my "normal" is not, and never will be "your" normal."

I challenge the concept "Normal" to a duel !
What is this normal you speak of?

Nowhere in here do I suggest an anarchy, nor a society without structure or rules, but the "rules are made for (wo)man, not (wo)man for the rules"  to borrow an old phrase.
And life goes on,

Meanwhile, each one of us, is in reality extraordinary!


~joseph

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment