I believe that there are some people I will just never understand. My first realization that people are really different came from when I was asked what I wanted to be when I was eleven. I responded, “Well, doesn’t everyone want to be an actor/actress?” I was meaning to be playful but I was promptly told, “no”.
My mother has often said, “ If someone grows up with a goat in their kitchen, they’ll think everyone has a goat in their kitchen.” To understand me and my thinking you would have to know my goat, my sense of normalcy. I’ve grown up in a university town, so I’ve been able to see “diversity.” But really it’s all nice and polished up. Truly I’m surrounded by white Midwestern Christians. My parents have been divorced my entire life. I’ve lived with my mother and I would describe her friends who helped raise me as unique, stable, wise people. As her youngest child I’ve been raised by many different minds.
I have many perspectives and thoughts flowing through me, but they are really one in the same. I’ve been brought up thinking like someone from a different generation. I just don’t understand kids these days. I don’t understand the need for sex and drugs so young. I don’t understand the stupid trends. I don’t understand why I don’t, why they don’t think like I do. Or do they? I s there a drive to be different in these kids?
I remember a particular time when I tried to be different. I have three older brothers and was more of a tomboy. Late in second grade being a tomboy became the new trend. I did not want to be a part of it. I specifically remember asking another second grade girl, Alex, to give me ‘girlie lessons’. The only lesson I can recall was to scream at the sight of ants. That was the end of that.
I couldn’t change myself. “I yam what I yam.” When I look at the big picture I realize that I may have separated myself from the second grade girls at my elementary by being girlie, but I was the same as girls across town or across the world. No person can be completely different or unique. “There’s nothing you can do, but you can learn how to be you in time, its easy,” The Beatles advised. You can’t do anything unless you are first being yourself. And I don’t understand why you would not.
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