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when did you realize you weren't normal?

Discussion in 'People & Cultures' started by freegander, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. freegander

    freegander Rambler

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    was it a long, painful process of trying to fit in or have you always known?

    bonus: do you think anyone really is "normal"? does their inner soul truly resonate with social norms, or have they just conformed?
     
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  2. Matt Derrick

    Matt Derrick StP Founder, Admin, and travel addict
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    Probably just conformed. I think most people have the potential to be unique but most choose to do what society tells us.

    There are of course people that were just born to be robots or cogs in the machine.

    For me it was going to Christian school and realizing it was all bullshit in my sophomore year.
     
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  3. moonwalker

    moonwalker Wanderer

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    I had never thought of it as being not normal, but all of my life I have stayed very true to my own principles; whereas most people rely on what everyone else thinks or does, I go based off of what I feel myself and think myself. Fortunately or unfortunately, it's always been odd or unique in my case.

    As for my friends, I have had some friends that have steered away from the "norm", but they really just deviated into what I call an "alt norm", which is pretty much just a culture that, although different than the norm, really perpetuates the same kind of "herding". I mean, I respect these people a lot, but I can see that they are, at times, no different than normal people, only that the guidelines they follow are a deviant of the norm. But, that's just my analysis of it. When you study human nature, you realize that there aren't really too many different kinds of people, only different backgrounds.

    That was a blanket statement that will surely catch some fire on here, but what I am saying is that, yes, we are all snowflakes, yada yada yada, but ultimately, we have certain predispositions to react to things in a certain way, and the only REAL difference in any two same-type people is the situations they have experienced.

    I'm an INFP, so that should kinda describe what's up with me; I imagine there might be a couple of those types here.
     
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  4. lunarfox

    lunarfox Newbie

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    I went through a long process of trying to fit in, but mostly that occurred at school. I grew up pretty poor for the most part, & the high school that I went to, up until 10th grade, had a lot of stuck up, Abercrombie wearing rich kids.
    The girls all had the same shade of platinum blonde hair and fake tan skin, and sadly my first year of high school, I really wanted to have what they had. It's pathetic though. I even bleached my hair at home and it was this horrible yellow, peroxidey shade. I always knew I wasn't like them though but I guess I was pretty desperate for acceptance.
    It wasn't until after I dropped out and flew to SoCal that I realized how dumb it was to try conform to something I wasn't After that I started trying to figure out what it was that I liked, and who I was.


    I'm only 20, so I still have a lot of searching and growing to do.
    Did you ever go through a period of trying to fit in? I envy people that never gave a fuck about what other people thought.
     
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  5. moonwalker

    moonwalker Wanderer

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    Ugh, and even though I liked a lot of them (including you), theater kids drove me nuts. Like, they were just always so happy and loud and being all attention-grabby. Probably just a pessimistic dickhead, but that always kinda annoyed me. I feel stupid about it now, because I think I was just jealous that I didn't have friends like that, but the only reason I didn't is BECAUSE I was such a dickhead.

    Thankfully I have embraced my open heart and open mind a lot more now.
     
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  6. ntdxc1878

    ntdxc1878 Wanderer

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    I think in regards to living a vagabond type of lifestyle and traveling, it really happened when I went to college my first year. Headed off to a big school, on a scholarship, ready to be a business mogul and make lots of money.

    Then I get there and realize I didn't want any of that. People get too caught up in a cycle of college, debt, job, kids, etc. I didn't want that cookie cutter life, so here I am now. It's been a big realization for me, but definitely not a sudden one, I could feel it coming a long way off. All and all, as long as people are happy with the lives they live and feel that they are making positive impacts on the world and people, it really doesn't matter if they live the most bland life or the most extravagant and wild, at least in my opinion.
     
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  7. moonwalker

    moonwalker Wanderer

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    This.
     
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  8. lunarfox

    lunarfox Newbie

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    Oh my God, I didn't like them either! I was bullied by them. I think I was kinda jealous of them too, lmao, they were just another group I couldn't fit in with.
     
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    #8 lunarfox, Mar 26, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
  9. moonwalker

    moonwalker Wanderer

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    Every group had its cool folks, but they were always surrounded by others. But, it feels good to know I wasn't the only person who didn't particularly enjoy the "cool kids".
     
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  10. ntdxc1878

    ntdxc1878 Wanderer

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    I've definitely had periods in my life where I looked at people and just wanted to meet that standard or be like they were. At the end of the day it never seems like it ends well, I've just tried to learn to be me, and if you don't like what I am then fuck you (lol). People that don't accept that aren't worth another second of your time. It's been really freeing not trying to meet anyone's expectations for me and just live how I see fit. Definitely felt a more of an inner peace after you drop all that baggage.
     
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  11. palmazon

    palmazon gnomad
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    Please provide a working definition/model/example of normal human range of behavior(s). We're all prey to the same impulses, we're all capable of tremendous folly. I felt out of step with everyone around me as long as I can remember. However, I learned how to get along fairly quickly - that it isn't in anyone's interest to be at odds with everyone. The appeal of this site is individuals sharing parallel ideas & methods
     
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  12. Fatboy

    Fatboy Newbie

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    Ive felt weird my whole life. Im an INTJ the rarest of the types so yeah I was always the odd one out.
     
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  13. OP
    OP
    freegander

    freegander Rambler

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    so how do you tell the difference? are those in the first group miserable while those in the latter are content?

    until very recently, i believed that everyone thought like me deep down. but now i'm not so sure. i want to believe that everyone has just been crushed into this mold by society, but sometimes it's hard to see that they didn't choose it.

    i was homeschooled my entire life in a rural area, so i was VERY socially stunted when i started college. all through college, i tried to adapt and fit in. and i was successful. unfortunately, i tend to prioritize the needs and wants of others above my own, so i buried myself under the weight of everyone else's personalities. i never experienced social disconnect because i would mould myself to meet people where they were at.

    the summer before my senior year, i spent a lot of time with myself. living in a city where i knew no one. biking to work. doing things that i wanted to do. tuning into my inner heart beat.

    towards the end of the summer, some friends came to visit me. we went out for dinner and i cried myself to sleep that night because i realized i had changed. it was like looking into the mirror and seeing a different face. i detested the shallowness of their gossip and felt, for the first time since entering college, very out of place. i had discovered myself and i was either going to have to grow distant from people that i loved or force myself into their mold again.

    the next semester, i got ill and i guess that was my body forcing me to isolate, avoiding the inevitable indecision. so i accidentally distanced myself from some people, but also got closer to others. now i feel more like myself, but am i just conforming to a different social norm or is it really me?

    “It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

    that is the struggle of my life. i lived in an anarchist community for a bit last summer, and i feel that i really got a sense of who i was apart from societal pressures. sometimes i just think i was subject to different societal pressures, but the community valued independence so highly that i didn't feel pressured to be anything. it felt very much like being in solitude amongst a crowd.

    i guess i've been hearing rumors that i wasn't normal my whole life, but i only chose to listen to that voice when i felt a sense of belonging in a community of really strange people.
     
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  14. Anagor

    Anagor Vagabond

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    Well, interesting question. :)

    I think I realized it beginning of 2015. I started all this quite late, with 40. Not being in a very good mood in 2014 I found some videos about riding freight and StP by chance. That made me think about going on a backpacking trip in England - something I had never done before (and never thought about before).

    Well, mildly interesting so far, cause it really was "backpacking" only. Trevelling by coach/bus, sleeping in hostels on paid vacation. But I visited quite a few cities in England and Ireland, came out of my "comfort zone" quite far and ... I found it exciting.

    So I decided to go on a second trip beginning 2015, to England again. There I met a few people who were travelling unconventionally, sleeping rough, living in squats and alike. They introduced me a little bit to this lifestyle I only had read before about (here and on other sites).

    And that did it. I remember sitting on a bench alone in Bristol, drinking a cider and seriously thinking about calling my family and the company I used to work for, telling them that I will stay in UK, not coming back to normal life. Well, that was only for 20 minutes, of course I came back. It was just a very unreasonable idea.

    But I could not forget about this life and I got more and more depressed doing my 9-5 job. I tried to combine working and travelling, but that failed miserably.

    So in November 2015 I quit my job and decided to just live an alternative life.

    I don't know if that was a good decision, but I know I had the best time in my (adult) life the last two years. So probably yes. :)

    A friend of mine once told me "perhaps you had it always in you, but never lived it" ... and I think she is right.
     
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  15. todd

    todd Wanderer

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    its been a long painful process...lol
     
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  16. Whereamiwhatdoido

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    I've kinda always been the odd one out. At 19 I went out into the world and ended up on a 3 month LSD trip which really took me over the hills, then later I joined a cult for 2½ years, and then now I am back where I came from trying to fit in, which is slowly killing me inside out, but still trying though.
     
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  17. somn

    somn Pilgrim

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    what the fuck is normal? I've never talked to anyone who believes that they are living to conform to the masses. I have however met alot of people (including myself at times) calling everyone but themselves sheeple. That seems like some hipster bullshit to me. When we are children we can be really exclusive of eachother for stupid reasons, and that can be hard so I'm not trying to hate on anyone who shared their stories here.

    The next yuppie you see could actually be a stealthy hobo ninja living out of their tiny half empty backpack, doing a way better job than you at not drawing attention. you don't know.
     
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  18. EphemeralStick

    EphemeralStick Dusty Lil Van 'Mo
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    Hoo boy, where do I start? I guess the shortest answer is that I have never in my life felt that I was normal. As young kid I was extremely effeminate which did wonders on isolating me from most of my peers. As I got older I would find that as long as I kept myself emotionally distant from the people around me I could fit in, so to speak, with damn near any crowd of people.

    I've always known that I wasn't meant to be like everyone else. That there was something a little bit off about me. My head was always in the clouds, dreaming of adventure and exploration. As I grew older I learned what it meant to have wanderlust and would eventually head out in to the big scary world.

    It's been difficult. Not only was I the only queer member of my family but I also developed some fairly radical ideologies that my more "normal" siblings couldn't understand. It was almost like having to come out a second time, once for my sexuality/gender identity, and then again for my nomadic life choices. I don't think there was ever any "aha" moment but instead a gradual acceptance that this is me.

    This is who I am.
    And that is just fine.
     
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  19. N0MAD

    N0MAD Pilgrim

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    For me it was high school i was constantly bullied for the smallest most stupidest thing;
    My lisp and stutter - which only comes out when im stresses and being bullied and in highschool really contributed to my stress level.
    The fact i cared for other people and wouldn't look down on anyone no matter what there predicament was.

    And a few other things but there pretty irrelevant.
     
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  20. moonwalker

    moonwalker Wanderer

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    So, let me make sure I am understanding this right : when you were with these folks in the community, you felt yourself? And if you did, what do you think yourself is?

    The idea of molding rings true to me, because it is something I found I do often. Luckily, I treat it more like a skill and less like an identity. I find molding myself to people can be useful for small periods of time, to enjoy company I might not otherwise enjoy, but it's always things that I must cut out of my life fairly quickly. (mostly people I meet on the road for a couple of days, or 5 minutes, or whatever)
     
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