An Introduction of Sorts
I realize that I’m not in the majority here, but there it is.
Being different is not a character flaw, although I used to think it was. It’s hard when you don’t fit into the norm (or whatever they’re calling the norm these days).
I realized a long time ago that there was a possibility that I didn’t think like other people. My way of looking at things is not always the same. Even when it pertains to the physical aspects of things.
Take color for example.
Have you ever wondered about color? I mean, how could you not have wondered? Does the green that I see when I see green look the same as the green that you see when you see green?
That kind of thing.
I mean, HOW DO WE KNOW?
I can’t see out of your eyes, and you can’t see out of mine.
I believe that a great deal of life centers around our own perceptions of it, and that we are limited by our own realities.
I also believe that to a point, we create our own realities or live in realities that we allow others to create for us.
When we’re children, we haven’t been talked out of all our abilities yet. There are things we can see and do that are unexplained but still true. The following illustration is an excerpt out of a kid’s book I’m writing, but also a true story from my childhood:
“I see things that other people don’t see sometimes. Like that time the tree fell down….
There was a whole bunch of us kids outside playing in the yard. I guess I should have told you that my name is Gypsy, so you don’t get me confused with anybody else while I’m tellin’ my story.
It ain’t my real name, it’s just what people call me ever since I wore my Halloween costume to school. I told everybody’s fortune and I guess I got some stuff right. Mama sure doesn’t call me that, especially when she’s mad at me or shocked by something I say. My whole name rings out through the neighborhood then, and I don’t know anybody’s future but my own, and it ain’t good, nor one you’d be wantin’ to share.
Our neighborhood is just plumb full of kids — at least 17 of us live right here all together. I don’t know what keeps us from drowning or getting hit by a car, because it seems like there’s so many of us that we could stand to lose a few, and the odds are stacked against us. I guess we’re pretty safe though, cause we ain’t died yet, even though some of the boys have broken a bone or two, and Sally almost choked me to death once when I walked to the store with Mindy.
Anyway, it was Mindy and me sittin’ on the lawn chair, one of those long fold-out kinds that leaves a crisscross pattern on your butt if you sit down too long, and Big Jack and Dale were just running around aggravating us.
Big Jack is what we call my big brother, because Mindy has a brother named Jack too, but he’s younger than most of us so we call him Little Jack. Everybody does — practically the whole town — and I don’t even know if they realize why they call him that. We just made it up one day so we would know which Jack we were talking about.
We were just lying on that lawn chair, being mad at the boys but laughing at them too, when I looked up and said, “Y’all, we gotta move because that tree is fixin’ to fall!”
I really don’t even know why they listened to me because they sure didn’t make a habit of it, but Mindy and I both jumped up and Dale and Big Jack grabbed the chair and we took off running. No sooner than we got out of the way, we heard a tearing sound, and that tree uprooted itself and came down with a swoosh and a thud right where we’d been sitting five seconds before!
If anybody would have seen us at that moment, they’d have sworn they were looking at a bunch of ghosts, because I know for sure three of the four of us turned the whitest I’ve ever seen a person look. Then we all started yelling and running in to tell Mama, who said, “God must have told you to tell everybody to move,” and I know it’s true, because I never would have thought of it in time myself. That was one time that being a frog would be less of an advantage than being a bird, because we all could’ve been squashed like one. Mindy and I still talk about it every chance we get, but the boys try to act like it never even happened. I guess that’s because God didn’t tell THEM to get everybody out of the way or if He did, they weren’t listening.
That ain’t the only time something like that has happened, but I’ve figured out that the older I get, the more I talk myself out of listening. At times like those, it’s only grace that saves me because it sure ain’t because I’m doing what I’ve been told to do. I don’t know if God punishes you for not listening, but I figure that He just stops talking to you if He sees you ain’t paying attention anyway.”
That’s just one example of seeing something that no one else can see. If it’s possible as a child, surely it’s possible once you’re an adult!
We all have gifts and abilities that we’re born with. Whether we keep them to adulthood largely depends on whether we have the opportunity and the guts to use them.
To me, it seems as if the world is put together in bits of color.
If I could be a true artist, I’d grab those bits of color with my paint brush and put them to canvas. I do the best I can with the abilities that I have.
I wish everyone could see the way I see.
I’m also different than most in how I show my feelings.
I cry over sappy things and serious ones. I cry the hardest over happy endings because I know in my heart that those rarely happen.
For a long while, I let myself become hardened and wouldn’t show anyone who I really was. It shamed me to have real emotion. Catastrophe has turned my world upside down though. Instead of hiding my tears from others, I cry with them through their own pain. Not usually on purpose — it just happens.
People with heartbreak seem to gravitate to me. It’s like they know they’re safe to cry with me. I find that one of the biggest blessings of my life, and one of the hardest burdens to carry. Grief was never a ministry I wanted.
I’ve found that the most imperfect things on this planet are often the most beautiful. That goes for people too. What a man (or woman) is on the outside doesn’t always correspond with who they are on the inside. A pretty face doesn’t mean a pretty heart.
It’s okay to be you. I’m good with being me.
It’s taken me a lot of years to become who I am. I’m not saying that I’ve arrived at the place I need to be. It’s still a journey. I’m good with the path I’m on though.
And I have my own style — the way I talk and dress — -those things are all me!
There’s nothing wrong with fashions and trends, I’m just not a crowd follower. I like what I like and I don’t like what I don’t like.
And I don’t like coffee. Not even a little bit.
Also published here