Normal, Abnormal, Me

Joanna Shindler

I was tall and clumsy, I had a weird laugh, and I was interested in things that other people thought were dorky. I tried to be like everybody else, but it never worked. So I stopped pretending to be normal.

Instead I went out of my way to be abnormal. I wore clothes that no one else would wear and walked around ready to defend my beliefs against any challengers. I said outrageous things to make people laugh. If I was born to stick out, I might as well take advantage of it! I thought. Some people thought I was weird and obnoxious; but a lot of people like me. They thought I was funny, brave, and unique. They complimented my quirky clothes and commended my attitude of not caring what “normal” people thought.

But I did care. Instead of trying to be normal, I was trying to be abnormal. I was still letting the other people decide who I would be.

Psalm 139:13-14 proclaims that you are God’s creation.

Now I try not to think about what the crowd does. I don’t fall in step or go out of my way to be different. I think about what I believe, how I feel, what I want to do. Sometimes I like popular clothing, music, and movies; sometimes my tastes are off-the-wall. Sometimes people agree with my opinions and beliefs, and sometimes I stand alone. Am I normal? Who cares? I’m me.


JOURNAL: Write words that describe you when you’re being yourself.


—from devozine (July/August 2004). Copyright © 2004 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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