November 19, 2017

A Note to a Friend

A friend's child ("M") has been having a difficult time at school. I don't know if my note helped, but it made me feel better:
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Dear M.,

Do you want to know something? My whole life, I’ve never, ever felt like I “fit in.” Even in some of my earliest memories, it seemed like I was out of step with everybody else.

It’s hard to explain. The things I cared about, other people thought were lame. The things other people cared about didn’t make sense to me. And it wasn’t just my imagination! I really did look at the world differently. For example, in movie theaters, I was the only one to laugh at parts where everyone else was totally quiet.

At first, I wondered if everyone else felt the same way. But since not everyone else got called “weird,” I decided that wasn’t it. And I decided that if someone called me “weird,” it wasn’t so bad. It wasn’t the same as saying I was a bad or awful person. It even seemed funny when people would say “weird” like it was an insult. I mean, try saying “ordinary” to someone in a mean tone! It doesn’t work.

Anyway, now that I’m older, I can spot the people who are different. Some of them are super-creative, some are funny, and others just have a slightly off-kilter viewpoint. But no matter who they are, I appreciate “different people.” Not only are they super interesting, but they sometimes have had a hard time growing up. 

That means the different people can use someone who sees them. The different people can use someone who appreciates them. 

And M., I appreciate YOU. You’re amazing!

Your “different” friend,

Bart


1 comment:

Glenn Ingersoll said...

Going off
To think about belonging?
Don’t be long!

— a poem I wrote yesterday