The need to collect data, and connect like things is used to access risk, identify reward, and tell us how something may fit in to our world.
When the visual that accompanies you, or your responses do not fall within the expected list of acceptable answers, you’re often met with confusion, or fear. Worse still, when we choose to act differently, or pursue paths not populated by our peers, we are written up as high risk, or written off completely.
For some of us, being different is a choice. We have tattoos, dress as we please, or colour our hair in ways that do not mirror the status quo. Of course, these things in, and of themselves do not mean our personal leanings, beliefs, or lifestyles are as alternative as we appear, but they certainly present a warning to viewers that we are not assimilators.
But what if you are dissimilar in ways you haven’t chosen? What if our health, or lifestyle, or station dictate that we do not look like, or live exactly like those around us?
When we are pigeonholed for these reasons, it can very quickly catch even the most outrageous, and outspoken of us off guard.
“Yes, I have pink hair, and different interests than you, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be invited to your BBQ, night out, or wedding.”
“Yes, I dress in revealing clothing, and have body modifications, but that doesn’t mean I want to be challenged, or mocked for my diet, health, or appearance.”
Unfortunately, our peers are not always interested in correcting their ignorance, pursuing challenges, or including people who do not “fit in” into their life.
Being yourself requires fortitude, and a kind of mental toughness that may never show on the outside. You constantly have to access, and consider the messages around you, and decide whether the additional time it takes to be different is worth it.
If you’re like me, you made the decision long ago, and have accepted your fate as a fringe member of “normal society”. Like me, you may also have found yourself a source of support, and comfort for people who are still being stung for their lifestyle choices.
At the end of the day, if you’re reading this blog, there’s a good chance you are open-minded, flexible, creative, or on the fringes yourself.
So, it should come as no surprise to you then, that my answer to the question at hand is ” I am me”… Now get outta my way, or I’ll skate right over you.