Nothing is more common than the desire to be unique.
I see uniqueness as a gift we are given that we later give up. We are born unique; our eyes, our hair, our character are all our own. We grow up with qualities that only we have, thoughts that only we can vocalise or action. And then we grow up, and instead of being who we are, we become who we are expected to be. We conform. We stop laughing. We don’t stand up for people. We settle. We give up. We conceal our uniqueness with layers of just average.
What I envy about Autism is that not only do they get to be who they are supposed to be, but they get to do it without knowing it. They get to be themselves without constraints. They don’t care if people are looking. We do. They don’t care if people are talking about them. We do. My brother doesn’t have to define himself. I do. My brother gets to play, laugh, run, cry whenever he feels like it, I have to wait until it’s the right time.
Society will define me by my job, my background, my people. My character will be defined by one encounter – usually bad prevails. My happiness will be measured by my personal life, my career, my family. I get to write this blog, I study something I am passionate about, I get to try my best to attempt to redefine myself, or even find myself, but society doesn’t let me win. And the worst thing about it is that we care. Because we grow up thinking that our self-worth is measured by the way the world perceives us. A random definition of ‘normal’ crushes our uniqueness.
The secret to being unique is not trying; it is to stop taking the most recent definition of ‘normal’ and deliberately going against it. The secret to being unique is to be free, and if your mind doesn’t know how to be free you can never experience it. My brother doesn’t try to be unique, he just is. Because he laughs at what he finds funny when he finds it funny; because he runs around in a shop and shouts out to express happiness; because he yells when he’s mad. He doesn’t conceal himself; he has no inhibitions. Autism doesn’t define Christos. There are SO MANY words that describe different aspects of him but his spirit cannot be defined.
That’s freedom of mind and soul. Christos never stops pushing me, he shifts my beliefs, my perception everyday; he never stops throwing life lessons in my face like “How do you not get this!?”.
Why fit in when you were born to stand out?