I’ve talked about the idea that I’ve been told I’m one in a million billion before…like way-back-when-before-I-realized-I’m-not-everyone’s-cup-of-tea before. I (serendipitously/universe-guided/Godwinked) ended up reading this post as I waited for my flight to board, in the middle of traveling and stressing and hoping. After reading my thoughts written about 2 1/2 years ago, the following things came to mind:
* I sound kind of douchey. While I don’t think I was lying when I stated the focus wasn’t on what others thought of me, I think I was unintentionally kinda sorta actually fishing for a compliment. I wanted to feel special, like I believed that I was one in a million billion, like whoever said that believed it with all his heart and soul…and others should too. because, dammit I’m special and people /slash/ I need to believe that.
A simple reflection on that post followed as I was taken up to my most favorite place on earth — in the clouds…literally:
i am not special.
[timeout: this isn’t a self-deprecating post. while I am not in the most positive state, I am not in a woe-is-me-I-suck-at-life mood. trust me. I refrain from writing when that mood happens because it kinda skews the whole art-of-happiness thing I’m working on. okay, back to it.]
So yes, I’m not special. Yeah we are all unique and wonderful and one-of-a-kind snowflakes here on earth shining like diamonds. (…sounds a little insincere but it isn’t…entirely. stick with me friends, I’m making a point).
Equally as true of a statement as that is that we are all more alike than we are different. We can all sing and dance and write and reflect. We can all run and jump and draw and express. Granted, some of us are more introspective and expressive than others. or are physically/artistically/musically more “gifted” than others. or put more effort into honing a certain craft. or were forced by parents/teachers/mentors/coaches to excel beyond our best. Still, I truly believe that at the most basic level we think the same thoughts and feel the same feels. We share the same worries and hopes and fears.
quick shift: let’s talk about “learning differences.”
For the past month, I’ve been traversing the globe (read: sleeping little, stressing lots, and traveling between two states) in hopes of securing a lucrative training position (read: taking whatever I can get so I can finally start living and stop accruing these damn loans), meeting interesting people (read:…interesting. I don’t know who’s reading this so I’ll just say everyone I’ve met has been fabulous). During said traversing, someone was sharing with me about his opinions on learning disabilities and how he preferred the term “learning differences.” I liked that. Mostly because it’s true. Through my professional work, I’ve learned more and more about how some “disabilities” can be remedied or aided simply by being more open-minded and providing different options for learning. Kid has trouble sitting still? Provide him/her with a standing desk. Boom. Kid likes laying his head down on the table while working? Give him/her a comfy pillow and allow work to be done on the floor. Done. (obviously I’m over-simplifying but at the same time I’m kind of not).
Minor bone to pick concerning this topic: have you all read about Jennifer Aniston coming out as having overcome dyslexia? No? You can read about it here. or don’t if you’re against things becoming “things” only after a celebrity talks about it. My reaction when reading about it was something like this:
oh, so NOW you want to pay attention to something children/adults/human beings have struggled with for years?? Now it’s a “thing”?? UGH Gag me with a spoon, gouge my eye out with a fork why don’t you?! …scratch that last part. I’d rather solely be gagged with a spoon considering the effects of vomiting seem slightly more pleasant that potential blindness.
Your point, Clouds?
…oh, right, I was attempting to make one of those.
My point is that, alongside our talents and treasures and awesomenesses, we all have a “thing.” a story. a struggle. something that makes us unique yet simultaneously connects us.
Maybe if we (I) spent more time thinking about what connects us to others and less time thinking about what separates us, life would magically (not so magically) become a tad bit less difficult.Yes, I /slash/ you /slash/ we have things that are wonderful about us. A collection of quirks, qualities, qualms, and questions that are unique to only us. Buuuut there are just as many, if not more, aspects that we share as human beings that aren’t focused on nearly as much as they should be. I think we could make life less stressful (and more happy) if we stopped to think about how the person we are interacting with at a given moment is like us. I have a hunch we would be a bit kinder. If we stopped to think about how they might have a struggle similar to ours, we might soften our words, extend a hand, or simply offer acceptance void of judgment. …maybe even show love in the form of a hug (…i’m a fan of hugs). Maybe it’s just me but I think less of the I’m-entitled-because-I’m-special-so-you-should-treat-me-that-way bullshit that seems to fill the air in today’s society could go a long way if replaced by the we’re-all-special-and-we’re-all-the-same-and-we-all-struggle truth that actually exists.
Crazy idea but I think it just might work. Let’s try it.