Coded violet, I think, possibly meta.

Tuesday 21 March 2006

Middle aged man with glasses

Pic of the day: I certainly look human enough.

How different I am

I thought by myself: "If I could start my journal over, would I do anything differently?" And my answer was: "I would focus more on how different I really am."

People expect you to be different if you have a different skin color, if you grew up in a different culture, if you belong to a different religion or a fundamentally different political system, and probably if you have a different sexual orientation. But if you look like them and speak like them and believe in their God... how could you possibly be different? And that's what I would like to tell.


Of course, every teenager is different and special and nobody can understand them. And they write about that in their online journal. But even so, most of them grow up to read the same newspapers and watch the same TV and buy the same cars and get a job and marry (or just live together like a married couple) and buy a home and have a child or two. Sure, they are still unique. Their CD collection is not exactly the same as their neighbors', and their car has a different color; perhaps it is even a different brand. One may prefer Italian food, another Japanese, when they go out to eat. They go to different churches, in the more extreme cases, although this may put a strain on some relationships. Oh yes, they are precious and unique like a snowflake. But they are still snowflakes.

Then there are the losers. Sure, they want to be like everyone else, but they cannot afford it or they are not smart enough, or they have some other disability. Finally, there are those crazy people. They can be entertaining, at least from a distance; but they are creepy too. You cannot understand them, and they cannot understand you. They just do things, they don't need a reason; or if they have a reason, it doesn't make any sense, it is just something they have made up. They are not like us, and thank goodness for that!

But what if I tell you there are other people who live in the same society and indeed observe it keenly, but draw different conclusions from what they see. People who for some reason have different priorities, different hopes and different dreams. There are probably many more of them than you would believe, but they are all different. People who for some reason left the road that most were traveling, and never came back.

I am one of them. I am a white man, Christian, heterosexual, from a capitalist country. I have a partial college education and have been gainfully employed at the same workplace for 25 years. And yet I am probably more different from the average than a random gay black criminal. Because my goals and my dreams and my outlook are all different.


The difference is not always obvious. For instance, I play The Sims 2 like millions of other people. I like chocolate. I hate being sick. I use Google. I pray to God. So, I am certainly normal in some ways, and I am not ashamed of it. If you read a random journal entry, there is a good chance that you will identify with me. And I don't mind that at all. We are both human, after all. Probably.

It is mostly the things I don't write that are different. You will assume that I don't write about them because they are too everyday, too obvious to mention. While I actually don't write about them because they aren't here. The TV, the car, the vacation, the family life, the time with friends, the sex (or at least romance), the plans and ambitions.

But isn't that just that the computer games take up so much time (not to mention money) that I have to cut out something else? Surely I would have had it all if I could? There may be something to that, but not enough. When I play online games, I usually come back and find that the people I have teamed up with before are now a little ahead of me. Soon they are quite a bit ahead of me. And soon I don't see them anymore because we're not in the same league. OK, they are probably students, but students are supposed to have a life too. And in the Sims2 community, it is the same: Somehow the people with a life still manage to raise whole generations of Sims while I add a couple children. They may say "I don't have a life, LOL" but in the next breath they mention their husband or children or job. So they do have a life after all, LOL. I like to think I have too, but it seems to be somewhat on the sideline, on the very fringes of what is considered "life" by my fellow men and women.

Of course, I also wonder how the TV owners ever get the peace and quiet for thinking, and at times I suspect they don't. And it seems to me that they must work a lot to afford their houses and cars, and then probably work a lot with just taking care of those things too. Surely there must be a lot of stress with going on a vacation every year, and how can they afford it and have all the other stuff too? It's not like I'm disabled or anything, but that's a whole lot of money. Of course, from what I gather, it just barely goes around too for most. And like me, they just barely have time to sleep. Somehow we fill our time with different things. I probably do something you don't, just like you do things I don't, but I'm not sure what. Hopefully if I keep writing, you can help me find out... just how different I am. Or not.

Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago: Still alive
Two years ago: Instincts
Three years ago: Shock and awe
Four years ago: Recession over?
Five years ago: Goodbye to nothing
Six years ago: Returns
Seven years ago: "Love" is a bad word

Visit the archive page for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.

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