I am very different from just about everyone I know.
Of course, we are all different in many ways. In many ways, though, people are the same.
Oh, I look like a normal person. I have two eyes, two ears, two arms, etc… My eyes see–with the help of glasses. My ears hear. My arms work like they are supposed to, at least most of the time.
I realized I was different, though, early in my life. While my brother and my classmates complained about school and homework, I was the opposite. I loved school and wished we had more homework.
On Saturday mornings, my neighborhood friends would all be in their houses watching Saturday morning cartoons. I hated Saturday morning cartoons.
As the years moved on, the fact that I was different was made clearer and clearer. I didn’t fit in with most people and I didn’t have many friends. My mom insisted that I go to the youth group at our church. I would go to the church but would hide in the library rather than subject myself to the reality that I wasn’t really part of the group. I spent a lot of time alone in my bedroom. I lived in my own little world and to be honest, I liked it there. I know now that had Asperger’s Syndrome been a diagnosable condition, I for sure would have worn that label.
That sense that I differed from almost everyone around me never left, even into adulthood. I got married and had kids, but still didn’t have a circle of friends to get together with. I used to be so envious of moms who would gather with their friends and all their kids would play while all the moms chatted over coffee. I’m sure part of the lack of that in my life was the fact that our first child was born before most anyone else my age was married. Still, I tried to make friends. I remember, painfully remember, attending a MOPS group at a church near where we lived. I had been to MOPS a few times and always felt very uncomfortable. This particular time there was an ice breaking activity. The leader, who knew me, had put together a list of attributes. There was supposed to be one for each person in attendance. People had to go around and ask others which attribute matched them. The thing was, I was the only one without an attribute on the sheet. I never went back to MOPS.
I tried to forget about how different I am, but it always is reinforced in the seasons of winter and spring. You see, I love winter! I wish I could be Elsa from the movie Frozen. I would make my own little flurry cloud to follow me around. 🙂 Likewise, I dislike spring. And summer. I have several reasons for these feelings, but that is for another post…one I’m not quite ready to do just yet. This week, my husband and I were driving back from running some errands and the DJ on the radio had people calling in to say why they were happy. Most people were saying they were happy because the cold weather had finally left and spring had arrived. One lady, though, calls in and says that she is happy because spring is here and that means there are only 290 days until winter. I was “Amening” as she was talking!! There aren’t many people who think like that in this world. In fact, I told my husband that not only do I love winter and frigid cold, but I also love cloudy, rainy days MUCH more than sunny ones.
And as I said that to him, I realized once again that I am so very different than anyone else I know.
I don’t mind being different in that way, but it does make for a lonely life sometimes. When most people you know love summer and sun and heat, and you don’t, well, let’s just say no one else wants to go for a walk when the wind chill is -30.