On Being Special


This describes me in high school & college. I used to be obsessively creative. I often wrote several poems a day or several short stories a week or labored over a drawing for hours on end for days and days. I would listen to people talk at school noting how many topics were covered and what the sentences were that switched the topics. I’d put headphones on with no music so I could get really close to strangers and listen to the cadence of their conversations, to note how the were blunt or dancing around a topic, and their word choice. I remember having this huge capacity to love and since no girl wanted me to love them, I directed all that emotion and energy into creative works.

Traveling soon replaced creative energy. Seeing how other people lived around the world became a past time for me. I still love to watch people when I travel. I love to pick out the tourists from the natives as I depart a plane and walk around a city.

I guess I’ve always felt connected to the world without actually being connected to it.

What changed? My wife Alison stumbled upon me. I say that cuz she tagged along with a friend to go visit someone. I just happened to be living with that someone. She changed me. She taught me that someone could love me as I wanted to be loved. She showed that there was a single human who could handle my “intenseness”, which really just means that I am a person who has high emotional highs and low emotional lows. She’s the person who can recharge my soul after spending the week helping people, being social, baring my soul in a talk and trying to run one business and starting another. She taught me how to redirect some of that intensity to family needs, church callings and other productive things.

I’m not trying to say she fixed me, because I don’t think I was ever broken. I don’t think The Oatmeal is broken or need fixing. There are some of us that just operate at a different emotional levels than others. We see life differently than others and that’s just fine. It’s what makes us “special” and I use quotes because that’s how people refer to us weirdos. We’re “special” and that’s okay. šŸ™‚

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