She told me that all of her life friends and family had been urging her to 'just be normal'. What they meant was 'just be like the rest of us' and since she refused to be mean spirited, bigoted, and constantly social she was not 'normal'. They berated her to party more and think less. The words wounded until eventually she believed that 'something was wrong with me'. She yearned to be normal like the people with whom she felt little in common. She descended into depression. Now she's beginning to appreciate her strength and her spirit that refuses to allow her to change who she is just to please people who resent the very qualities that make her so unique.
The Fantasticks -- the longest running musicial in New York theater history -- gave us many wonderful lines. My faviorite is spoken by the young Luisa: "Please God, please don't let me be normal!"
Those are easy words to speak when audiences applaud. They are not so easy when families condemn.
Being different is tough. It's not as tough, though, as giving ourselves away just to please others.
And sometimes it's a long road back home.
Hang in there.