The truth is I've always been a little different... a lot different. I know I'm not alone in that way, and that ugly duckling stories and learning to love oneself are timeless; something countless people have experienced and shared. Many people have felt out of place or have struggled to fit in, for their own reasons. I was the awkward kid who didn't like recess, and who never had many friends. I was the quiet one who cried too much and was afraid of everything. I was really good at the academic stuff, and that made me different too.
Eventually I learned how to fake being normal, and got better at fitting in. I learned that some things about me were not too out of the norm. For example, preferring to keep to myself meant that I was an introvert, and lots of other people are introverts as well, so that must mean I wasn’t so weird after all. Then the term ‘highly sensitive person’ came out, and that also normalized some things for me, such as needing an environment with a low level of visual and auditory stimuli, and not being able to wear 3-quarter length sleeves, because I don’t like the way it feels on my arms.
When I discovered energy work and began tapping into my intuitive abilities, that sense of finding and accepting myself deepened dramatically. Suddenly it made sense why strangers wanted to tell me their life stories, and why I would often feel emotions and physical sensations that seemed to come from others. They were coming from others, and as an empath I was soaking them in.
As I learned about channeling and working with healing energy, chakras and psychic protection, I shared some of this with close friends and family, but not all of it. Normal people wouldn't understand that for me talking to angels, sensing energies, and having thoughts that were actually messages from outside myself felt, well, normal. My sensitive, psychic self was something I kept tucked away throughout each day as I built a career in education, and then explored animal welfare. On weekends and evenings it was a relief to let my ‘normal’ persona fall away, and to spend some time with who I really was.
To this day, while I can find enjoyment and feel a sense of camaraderie with others, most of the people I know outside of family are aquaintances or coworkers. I still find it incredibly rare to feel a deeply meaningful connection with another person. It's very possible that I've had more true friendships with animals than I have with people. It should not have surprised me, then, that when I began delving more deeply into my psychic and mediumship abilities, I found connecting with the souls and spirits of animals easier than connecting with their human counterparts.
Layer by layer, I’ve come to understand, love, and embrace the fact that I'm not normal. Unlike the ugly duckling, I’ve not yet found my flock of swans, though I’ve met a few here and there, and cherish those bonds. Trying to fit in and blend with the crowd is exhausting, so I don't, unless it’s by accident. In finally celebrating my own unique self I find it easier to appreciate the differences I see in others. At long last I've realized it's not just okay to be different; it's amazingly, wonderfully, magically divine.