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Are you Weird or Normal? (It’s a trick question.)

Whether you think you’re weird or normal, you’re probably wrong. See what I mean in this week’s edition of “Isn’t That Ironic?”.

I think every human being struggles with this question. Am I weird? Am I normal? Am I OK? What’s “wrong” with me. Certainly I have, even though people who know me wouldn’t have guessed it. I think it’s part of the human condition.

I recently came across this question and answer in an online forum. It struck me as having so much meaning I just had to share it with you.

I was the weirdest person in my high school. I was deeply unpopular, bullied, shunned, and mocked. I had no friends at all. I didn’t participate in any school events, activities, groups, cliques, dances, clubs, fraternities, organizations, or sodalities.

I also didn’t show up one day with my father’s twelve-gauge pump-action Remington and blow large holes in the kids who bullied me, although I can’t say the thought never occurred to me. So what happened to me?

Eventually, I graduated and went to college. In college, I made some good friends, a few of whom I have known and loved for more than 60 years now. I studied physics and philosophy and history and math and read a lot of great books. It was the 60s - I took hallucinogenic drugs. I met a nice girl and we got married and had a kid, or perhaps it was the other way around. She went to med school and became a doctor. Being as I was still pretty new at being human, sadly, the marriage didn’t last.

I went to graduate school and became an engineer. Working as an engineer was interesting and fulfilling for a while. My colleagues were and are some of the finest people it’s been my privilege to know. I remarried. People were still something of a mystery to me; perhaps I chose unwisely. We divorced after a few difficult years.

In a triumph of hope over experience, I married for the third and final (I hope) time when I was in my early 40s. 30 years on, we’re still happily together. After a decade or so, engineering began to feel like it wasn’t a good fit for me so I changed careers and became a software developer. I programmed computers for nearly 40 years.

I retired last October, at 71 years of age. I must have learned a thing or two in all that time, but I’m damned if I can tell you what. All in all, it’s been a better life than I could have imagined for myself when I was in high school.

Peter Sisk, former weird kid. June 12, 2020

Your idea of “normal” is a fairy tale. There is no such thing. I’m not normal and neither are you. I’m weird. If you don’t yet realize that, just wait till my memoir comes out.

It’s a bit ironic really, but as far as human beings are concerned, “normal” has no real meaning. It means everything and nothing. We are all different and we are all the same. Everyone is normal. Like Peter, having no friends in high school is perfectly normal. Having two failed marriages is perfectly normal. Finding joy after many struggles is perfectly normal. You are perfectly normal. You are the way you are supposed to be. Love it. Love yourself.

I have come to understand that the best way to live life is to be the best “you” in whatever ways you are different from others; to figure out how to make your uniqueness a gift to others and yourself; and to find that “divine within” which is the holy part of each of us, that is the same in all of us.

Weird or normal? Yes!

God Bless You!

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