We live in a society that does not accept that which is different, abnormal, or unlike what we are culturally trained to perceive as the “norm.”  Sometimes, that sickens me on behalf of myself, most times it sickens me on behalf of others.

So, when I am stopped and hear the driver of the car behind me YELLING, “Hey!  Hey, perv!  Get out from behind there! You PERV!!” at a young man who is, admittedly, acting a bit awkward and standing behind a large, blocky structure, I am hurt.  I am hurt for the poor, shy kid who just needed a place to lean his bike up for a little while.  He was waving to someone nearby, so I assumed he was waiting for said someone to come meet him.  The man behind me clearly had not seen the exchange and DEFINITELY assumed the worst.  I hurt for the shaming that this boy received for being a mite different and awkward.  I hurt, just in a tiny part, for me.

Because I am not normal.

I am different.

I am abnormal.

I am the friggin’ poster girl for WEIRD.

I am deviant.  I will sing that anthem for the rest of my days and I am COMPLETELY okay with that.  I am proud of it.  I am proud to work every day to live without fear.  I am proud of wearing my disease on my sleeve.  I am proud of being Mormon.  I am proud to be an abuse survivor.  I am proud to be the ABSOLUTE WRECK that I am and to be willing to discuss it with honesty.  I am proud of being authentic, even when it casts me out of “normal,” poisonous, hateful hegemony.

Today, I am thankful for passion and fire and the will to be myself outside of any person, thing, or expectation in my purview.

But mostly, I am thankful for the immense love that my friends have for me.  I am thankful for their acceptance.  They are beautiful and wonderful.  They are inspiring for accepting me and others without condition.

Today, I am thankful for understanding.