Do you ever feel like an alien in this world? All the social norms are like a foreign language that you can’t quite grasp. The communication methods don’t make sense. You’re operating on a whole different frequency level. But because that frequency level does not match with the majority, you’re constantly wondering what’s wrong with you.
That pretty much sums up my life. No matter how hard I tried, I could never quite fit in. I was always on the fringe; whether that was school, university, work or even family. Nothing ever quite felt right. Nothing ever felt like home. And looking back now, I think that explains why I kept moving from one place to another, swapping one job to another. Constantly searching, never wanting to settle, never feeling like I could settle because I did not know what else was out there. I kept moving in the hopes I would be led to my community.
When I learned about neurodiversity and neurodivergence, all of a sudden everything made sense. I saw myself through a clear glass for the first time in my life. I wasn’t that awkward shy girl who would always struggle to make eye contact and start conversations because she was bullied as a kid for her weight. It was simply my wiring. Sure, the bullying may have exasperated my social awkwardness and anxiety, but there wasn’t something wrong with me. I didn’t need to be fixed. That was just the way I was. That’s just how my divergent mind worked, and still works to this day.
Dr Nick Walker explains neurodivergence as “having a brain that functions in ways that diverge significantly from the dominant societal standards of “normal.” He explains the difference of neurodiversity and neurodivergence brilliantly here: https://neurocosmopolitanism.com/neurodiversity-some-basic-terms-definitions/.
Some of the ways this appears in my own life is my lack of understanding and my intolerance to unwritten social rules. I’ve always hated small talk because I just don’t see the sense it in but I’ve been conditioned to take part in it because that is what is expected of us humans. I also struggle with meaningless conversations for the sake of filling in the silence. I’ve been taught that silence is awkward which has left me feeling inadequate and socially inept for most of my life. It has also lead to being called rude or shy or cold, which isn’t particularly an invitation to open up but rather to resist these social interactions even more.
That feeling of inadequacy left me searching for myself out there; the need to fit in; adhering to social norms for the sake of acceptance; always looking for external validation; for someone else to define who I was; for others to determine my worth. It left me feeling disconnected not just from the world but more so from myself. The moment my inner world aligned was the moment I realised that whoever I am meant to be; that whoever I am is enough. She is all already inside of me, waiting to be let out and embraced. I told the story of that realisation in my previous post. You can read it below.
We Each Have a Light Within Us Waiting to Guide Us Home
The book had been sitting on my desk for about a week before my accident. I remember I was excited to read it but kept…
For the first time in my life, I don’t feel like running. I feel free from the shackles of social norms and the need to adhere to them. I am finally able to surrender to the present and allow the Universe to guide me to the places and the people and the things that are meant to come into my life instead of forcing myself to fit into boxes I so clearly do not belong to. Embracing the whispers within me and allowing them to guide my actions. And if that makes me look like a weird woo-woo wannabe, so be it.
For anyone who is feeling that disconnect, all I can say is this:
You are not a problem to be fixed.
Others do not determine your worth.
You can’t find yourself out there.
You gotta go within to find your True Self.
And once you find your True Self, let it all out. Do not let others hold you back.
Til next time, dear wanderer.