I’m weird even when I try to be normal
It can be alienating to be gifted if I worry about what others think
I love this quote: “When you’re normal, people can relate to you”
This is so true, and probably the biggest advantage of fitting your dreams into a box.
In my case, my intelligence and wide variety of interests mean people often can’t relate to me, especially if they have no intention of ever doing any type of work outside of their full-time job.
In school, it wasn’t a big deal — everyone had dreams — but that is not true at work.
I found that when I was working a full-time job, all anyone ever had to talk about with me was what happened on the weekend. And never once did I have someone relate to me, because what I was doing on nights and weekends was so different from them.
I was running an Airbnb, doing home maintenance on a house built in 1893, seeing fine art, working as a massage therapist for a college basketball team, reading fiction, and reading about investing and retirement.
People were curious about some of these things, but they couldn’t relate. They spent their weekends watching Netflix with friends, going out of town to catch sporting events, watching football, and generally relaxing. And that’s not even to mention those with kids — they could not possibly relate to me not wanting children of my own.
I was always devastated that I didn’t fit in. Of course, jocks and nerds mix like oil and water, but the real reason was no dreams vs. dreams.
If someone asked me how I had spent my time relaxing, and I told them I spent it pursuing my dreams, then they would wonder why I was not “satisfied” with the normal life they lead.
I couldn’t even have watched much football if I had tried — I was learning Spanish on 2 hour video lessons and cleaning a 3,000 square foot house for Airbnb every Sunday.
This actually led directly to conflict at my next full-time job, where I asked my manager to minimize our drive-time by giving each therapist compact territories. Since the company and the staff only got paid by visit, that meant we could potentially see more patients in the same amount of time. Meanwhile, my manager had a 45 minute commute each way to the office, so she figured everyone driving a little extra was not a big deal. Eventually, the pointless hours in the car were taking away from my dreams. I said as much, and noone could relate, so they fired me.
Thankfully now I am discrete both in terms of how I self-direct my own time and whom I share my dreams with.
And, Ayodeji Awosika you are exactly right — it is counterproductive to lash out at anyone who is unsupportive of your dreams. In my case, I’ve lost romantic relationships over it. It’s better to keep the cards close to your chest, or to simply ignore the discouraging and disparaging remarks that normal people can make. Like you said, there’s nothing wrong with being normal.
And in fact, since being normal is conditioned by other people promoting the culturally-accepted normalcy, then we dreamers should not expect anything but negative comments from normal people. Because if they themselves had not heard such negative comments, they might be dreamers too. Or, they just value peace of mind too much to consider the instability and risk of following a dream. Thanks!