Friday, February 03, 2006

My Planet

I tell people my brothers think I come from an alien planet.

According to reports I was born in a hospital in small town Illinois, but most of my life I’ve figured that must be some sort of cover story. I’ve always not quite understood people. I didn’t get how they talk to each other or why they care about the things that they do—things like the latest outfit or going bananas on a bad hair day. To be fair they didn’t get me either, like why I want to talk about how somebody got an idea instead of what the idea is. It didn’t make for good conversation so I didn’t talk much.

My mother often told me I had too many feelings. Sometimes an hour later she would say I think too much. She was right, but that didn't make it any less confusing. I remember once in fifth grade I was going to write to Ann Landers about it.
Dear Ann, My mom says I cry at the drop of a hat. My brother says I turn on the tears like a faucet. What’s wrong with me?

But in the middle of it I wondered whether it would make the paper and whether my mom who read Ann Landers everyday would recognize me—I decided probably not. Then I got thinking about how maybe I should tell Ann how much I wanted a puppy for my birthday instead. I found myself caught in this major decision loop and gave up the project entirely. I really am not like other folks. Normal people just don't connect up thoughts that way.

Somewhere around eighth grade, I realized what the problem was. I came from another planet and no one had let me in on the secret. Except unlike Superman, I didn’t get any special powers with my alien status. I only got weirdness like a penchant for brown kneesocks and obliviousness to anything cool or appropriate to a kid my age. I didn’t even know you were supposed to want to fit in with the other kids that’s how out of this world I was—my genes were purely alien.

Since then I’ve managed to pick up the language and a bit of the culture. You get that if you live in a place long enough. If people don’t look too hard I pass as a normal person with a normal person’s attributes. It's easier now that I accept that I’m from an alien planet.

I used to dream that on my own planet my feelings and thinking were Goldilocks’ “just right,” that an incredible rainbow would come down from the sky whenever I had a bad hair day or wore the wrong outfit to school. Oh yeah and being oblivious and wearing brown knee socks are both incredibly cool on my real home planet. If you came to visit, you'd see that lots of things that seem sort of strange and out of context here fit in like tailored gloves. It's a reverse Superman story. I have magic powers when I finally get back to my own planet—the place where there are people who are like me, people who wear their feelings on one sleeve and their thinking on the other.

Maybe that’s why I like going to Australia and to Europe, they can’t tell which parts of me are alien and which are just American. So they just take the whole package in stride and figure that's who I am and let me be.

I hope one day to visit my real home on my real planet. On second thought, maybe not. What if they think I’m slightly skewed there too?

It would be crushing to feel like an alien among aliens of my own kind.

I guess this world is stuck with me. The same way I’m stuck with me. We have that in common. We’ve made it work this long. I can’t see why we can’t keep it going. There’re rainbows here too, after all.

Okay, I’m from this planet. I’m just not your usual specimen.

I have too many feelings, and I think too much.
—me strauss Letting me be


Trée said...

All I can do is smile Liz. It's a happy smile that you are who you are. Makes me want to be more me, just me, nothing but me. Your writing does that. Makes me feel comfortable with life. A voice of reason sailing on the winds of confusion and doubt. I like that voice. Keep it coming. My ear is to the wind.

ME Strauss said...

Thank you, friend.
For all of your kind words and for your beautiful art and for the warmth that you send through the airways. You are a special one that walks the planet.


mergrl said...

Okay, I’m from this planet. I’m just not your usual specimen
and for that my friend, I am very happy, and wouldn't want it any other way. It makes me ok with the fact that I am uniquely me :0)

Liz, your words are wonderful, just like you, and as always I am grateful that you and your words are a part of my world (hugs)

ME Strauss said...

Good morning, mergrl,
How I look forward to seeing you!
I'm glad to have your words as part of my life too. They brighten my day and make the world nicer home to live in.

Rain said...

I have always felt different. And I have been told I think too much, I get that all the time. But I believe the world needs each one of us to make a unique contribution.

ME Strauss said...

Hi rain,
Who gets to pick how much thinking is too much? Maybe everyone else thinks too little and that's what makes us stressed out. :)
It's a thought. Oh there I go thinking again. :)

Squire said...

NIce site..

ME Strauss said...

Thank you, squire.
Come back sometime and meet the rest of us.

Mark Daniels said...

I once wrote a piece on my blog called, "The Freedom to Be Weird." I think that God wants all of us to experience that freedom.

As usual, a thoughtful post, Liz.


ME Strauss said...

Thank you, Mark,
I wonder if it is a freedom or a necessity in my case. Are you really free if you have no choice? :)

Mark Daniels said...

Here's the URL to that post I mentioned:


ME Strauss said...

Thanks Mark,
I'll be by to read it. It sounds like one I'd like.

garnet david said...

I was feeling skewed last night, in a group of friends and some new people. It just happens sometimes. I am learning, finally, to just breathe, be and know that I am, despite my fears, my far distant perspective, something devine, infinite.

garnet david said...

I need to learn to spell divine. Anyone got a hammer?

ME Strauss said...

I think those two comments together are grand and beautiful. They so explain how I've so many times in so many places. I'm going to take a pen and write them NOW in my own hand in my journal over your name.

They are a perfect prayer for days for an alien sould.