Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Passing For Normal


Abbie Normal
Norma L.
















By whose standard do we measure ourselves and our alignment with other humans? I've been pondering this extensive spectrum of possibilities for years. I once planned to write a book about it: Realms of Normalcy.

I've given up. I recently saw a Tony Award winning play at a local theater called "Next to Normal."  Along with playwright, Craig Lucas, I conclude that I can aim for a position bordering the arena, but never achieve solid standing within.
photo by daughter, Mary Ann Edwards
These last months I've been alternating between Abbie and Norma. I appreciate all of you who have inquired about my obvious absence and excursion into the land of inadequacy and abnormality.

For months I have avoided my computer because it was a medium that conveyed messages of disapproval (a very strong one coming from someone quite close to me). It was surprising to me how certain events shut me up. I felt increasingly that what I believed and said wasn't important. Now those same musings have freed me to spew forth just because I do care less and less and certainly have no control over others' reactions and impressions anyway.  My silence has been deepened by serious concerns for my children and the death of two of my closest friends (a third is struggling with stage 4 metastasized melanoma). 

The realization that Mother is gone looms large in my emotional body. Thanksgiving marked the one-year anniversary of her death.
I still feel like an alien in a strange land as I struggle to speak or write cogent ideas. I miss my blogging friends and their varied reactions to life. I keep waiting for my second wind. I think at this stage of life, my second wind is death.

I've almost forgotten how the internet works and in logging back on, I see that most of my social networks have changed their formats, making them social notworks. As I have rejected and ignored electronic devices, I've mused over the elegance of delay. I've day-dreamed about circumstances where no immediate response is required or desired. I've wanted people to call me no sooner than when urgently moved to do so. The cellphonics have worn me down to a stubble of indifference. Don't text me. If you must leave a message, preface it with "this message has been mulled over and impact-considered for hours." Or better yet, write me a letter that begins with, "Dear Kass, I carried this missive for days in my breast pocket. It leaned earnestly against my heart and now I say to you that the weight of its impact has worked on me, causing me to spill out with....." (then say something loaded with caffeine).

In this self-imposed exile I've been enjoying for almost a year now, I've visited the Land of Shame and Guilt, a familiar place I go when I feel homesick. I talk to close friends about recorded loops that keep playing in my head. Most of them offer that all these concerns hinge on events that happened years ago. They tell me to let it go. It's in the past. I tell them it's not in the past. It's in my body. I'd like to be hooked into reality without being "hooked," but I'm addicted to my sick thoughts. I know you can't fix a sick mind with a sick mind, but I keep trying.


I visited the Tetons this summer and took a running, 
jumping, flying leap off a high mountain.
A perfect landing after soaring on thermals for 15 minutes with instructor, Cade Palmer
 It was a wonderful experience (among many that keep me quite happily engaged in life despite my intermittent retreats into melancholy).

Now that I'm back on the blogwagon, I want to share a few of the many physical ways I have tried to pass for normal even though it's increasingly obvious that I am not a mainstream, socially-approved individual.
Examples: 
 DEEP INDENT ON FOREHEAD
Why I wear bangs

HIPS
I always add material between the zipper and side pockets (creating a girdle of sorts) so my hips don't appear bigger than they are. Many higher-end slacks already have this feature.

EARS

 Big ears pinned to loops added to the middle of my ears for the express purpose of pinning big ears back.
 When I feel fancy, I attach decorations to the loops.
Most of my life I have had the unfortunate anxiety-producing combination of No Impulse Control and Caring Too Much What Other People Think. As you can imagine, this has created a perpetual cycle of regret. In trying to preserve or maintain what's left of my imagined dignity, I've confronted a society given over to a collective identification with frenzy. Maybe we all have a degree of Tourette's Syndrome with its accompanying rapping, hip-hopping bumbledom of multitasking to fulfill spurious requirements for living.

I think I'm finally ready to be myself, warts and all. The effects of age are harder and harder to camouflage and the effort it takes creates more stress and wrinkles. Life is too short for pretense and posturing. As Annette Bening said in the film, The Women (when assaulted by a department store cosmetic hawker), "This is my face. Deal with it."

I'm curious about methods any of you might have employed to fit the mainstream or attempt to go along with a socially imposed current that we are continually conditioned to care about. Please share.
Standing firm against the current

84 comments:

  1. dear Kass,

    I was so happy to see your name suddenly pop to the top of my bloggettes' list. then i read your post. . you are now the second poster this week that made me feel like i might not want to leave the blogworld, after all. i've had one foot out the door for a while now.

    here's a secret. i think it falls into the realm you describe. two years ago, i dropped communications with a woman who had been my best friend since second grade because i realized she made me feel badly about myself. and had done so for over 50 years. i didnt announce my abandonment of my side of the relationship; i just stopped.

    i am thrilled to have you back; i will maintain my stance of one foot out the door, one foot in the room a bit longer.

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  2. I've often heard the statement that if you can make a difference in just one person's life, it matters to the whole (that ripple thing, I guess). You make an enormous difference in my life, and I can't imagine it without your voice, opinions, talents, warts, wrinkles, big ears and all. The whole package is a joy to me. So glad you added this gem to the blogosphere.

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  3. Dear Kass,

    My blog notifies me by email of comments and seeing your name there was a delight - I will go next and respond.

    I have abandoned attempts to fit into the mainstream, trying, as I think of it, to pass for normal. For me, it seems to be a process of what I think of as spiritual evolution, somehow slowly merging with the thoroughly human and imperfect whole that is our existence. This discussion could go on forever. Pieces of it appear in my blog posts, for without my making it a conscious choice, I was assigned a contemplative life.

    When we are honest with ourselves, I believe we all stand firm against the current, unique, solitary yet connected. I suppose it is part of my good fortune to have been so inept at disguising my odd, true self. To me, they mystery of it all may be the best part.

    I am so happy that you are back and in awe of your courage, in all its manifestations. xo

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  4. I'm so delighted to see you back! I left the realms of "normal" so many years ago I've forgotten what normal is. The older I get, the less "normal" seems to matter ... although I'll admit to cringing a bit from time-to-time when I pass by a mirror.

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  5. I don't think most people know what normal is. They look around them and try to find out, and as long as they're similar enough to those around them they think everything's automatically ok. Don't worry about being normal. People are complex. People can also be good at acting. People struggle all the time, and wrestle with life and its issues. This is who you are. Don't let others give you grief over it :)

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  6. kass,

    you are a pure giver. and what happens is that we take from those who give. what is left of the giver, then? is there anyone out there to give to the giver? when is enough enough?

    as a giver, myself, i've followed the trail these questions don't answer readily and i recognize the same trail in your post. when do we give ourselves permission to stand in the stream of our own choosing? when do we stop allowing those who make us question ourselves into our inner lives? oy.

    partly through the blog world (marylinn and yourself as two examples) i've come to find my own stream and i've come to feel comfortable in giving myself permission to end relationships that are toxic to me. there's a difference between that and being bitter or being a quitter. do what is right for you. often that finds us above what i call the timberline. for some reason the other animals- let's call them mustangs- can run and herd with each other. that's great. but not for this wild burro (me) (you). we can run with them for a bit, but comes the time when we realize our home is elsewhere, above that timberline many won't go to.

    it's so good to hear from you. i love your ears unrestrained.

    sherry

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  7. George Conger11/29/11, 1:25 PM

    Wonderful soaring picture/experience!
    I'm finally going to paddle raft the entire Grand Canyon this coming May. We may be getting older, but we ain't dead just yet!

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  8. i am utterly delighted that you have returned. i've missed you and your musings so much. you are loved.

    normal-never been, not gonna start now. don't look it, don't act it, don't think it. trying to pass made me crazy. i've had all the crazy i can stand in one lifetime. this is me-deal with it, or don't. no matter :-)

    and you, my friend. when you look in a mirror, see the person that sings, writes, builds, dances, shimmies, laughs, loves, makes art out of air. that's who i see when i look at you.

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  9. It is so nice to hear your voice again,I always enjoyed hearing from you. I feel you are looking at all and trying to make heads or tails at the thoughts that become so obsessive. They are hard to shirk, I wake up and can't turn off my brain as hard as I try sometimes.I was in Lincoln, NE and saw a street named Normal Boulevard many years back, and wanted to move there I thought. I could be an average family on Normal street. Then, sharing my thoughts we came up with what is normal, and by whose standards were we to assume this roll.Everything i do is normal by my standards.We are faced with a series of opportunities, brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.

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  10. For someone who's struggling to speak, your ideas sure seem cogent to me. Welcome back, Kass.

    I've been threading socially-imposed currents since birth. Haven't drowned yet. Now, if you'll excuse me as I take another deep breath...

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  11. Anyone who plays on the tetons is living, not pretending at it.

    And really, isn't that the final goal at the end? To live and not just pretend at it?

    I think you were brave to show your toes so openly. I have a hammer toe and three bunions that no one except my partner has seen.

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  12. Wow, so much love on display here.

    A wonderfully awesome surprise to have you back and right away asking the deep questions.
    I have been pondering the concept of living life in the moment, neither looking forward to the could-be's, the ifs, and the might-be's or backward to the coulda, shoulda. One foot in front of the other. Normal is what other people are but none to my acquaintance.

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  13. Good to see you writing again. I am afraid I have very few answers--I think I am beginning to know what some of the questions are.

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  14. Kass, I think you have just given me some insight into my own anxieties over the last year and a half. It has been a personal quest that I have felt very confused about. I have related to you, and thought of you often as we were both caring for someone who was dying. It was such an emotional pressure cooker that it has taken months to sort, then resort, then collapse in exhaustion. (Still sorting.) Jumping off a cliff -- great rebound! I will only live that through you -- thanks for the nudge. Normal isn't unique, it has to keep changing to look like everyone else; I want to be a 'real' me. Bless you for making me laugh today.

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  15. There is a poem I like from the great Irish poet W. B. Yeats:

    The Coming of Wisdom with Time

    THOUGH leaves are many, the root is one;
    Through all the lying days of my youth
    I swayed my leaves and flowers in the sun;
    Now I may wither into the truth.

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  16. I am on my way out the door to a christmas dinner, Kass but I wanted so much to read this post. I want to read it again. It's inspirational writing as always.

    What's mainstream? I ask.

    And you certainly have been silenced and that's no good but it's wonderful to hear you've re-found your voice. Let's keep talking.

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  17. So, what's normal?

    Your post is absolutely fascinating to me, and yes, the subject could make for a rich and compelling book. I'd like to read it if ever you do write it, but first, I think, you should just write, and that for yourself - and to hell with the criticism. You write for you. Readers and (maybe) followers come later. All blessings to you.

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  18. i have been thinking about your post so much, kass, and i just wanted to add that i am blown away by the bravery--that's what it feels like to me--of your photographs and words. as women of our age, the resistance to fading softly to gray (on so many levels) is so exciting. and inspiring.
    thank you again.

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  19. Dear Kathy,
    I admire you so much for your honesty and courage to be who you are. That is the Kathy we all love. You are amazing and super talented and have added so much to our lives. Thank you! Thank you! Love you tons! -Kelly

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  20. Ah, you've come back with a ROAR and a HOWL! I, too missed you greatly. Saddens me, though, that your absence was fueled by doubt and despair.

    Methinks you've been too hard on yourself.

    As for what is "normal"? I have no idea. I hardly consider those I love the most "normal". Quite the contrary, I love them because they are misfits, curiously skewed, unique, "wrenches in clocks and the solar system," given to passions and creative impulses that "convention" does not recognize.

    Do go on being you. We're all the better for that.

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  21. I'm too shell shocked to make a proper comment now but I want you to know you are very much thought of and wanted and cared about just the way you are - what is with chaining your tabs back? Stop that, stop it now! You are normal, Kass, that's just it - you are perfectly fallibly normal which is what's so perfect about you.

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  22. The K is no longer silent, once again!
    Welcome back.

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  23. I am not a vain person, not by anyone’s definition of the term, but I am self-conscious. My aim in life is not to look like a tube. (Bear in mind I’m British and so that’s pronounced ‘choob’ not ‘toob’.) I’m sure there will be people out there who think they know what I mean when I use that word but it’s really taken on a meaning unique to me. In essence it means that I want to be dressed and groomed appropriately for whatever situation I happen to be in so that I don’t draw any undue attention to myself. I am still struggling with the beard. Since I’ve allowed it to grow—something I’ve always wanted, a full beard—there have been a few occasions out of the house where I’ve drawn unwanted attention from some of the local youths and there is no one in the world I want to appear invisible around more than teenage boys. I like how I look with the beard but it wouldn’t take much in the way of teasing for me to trim it right back. As far as my clothes go I dress modestly and in sober (if not exactly sombre) fashion. I dress not to be noticed, not to look like a tube. The worst thing I can imagine noticing when out and about is seeing someone nudge their friend as I walked by.

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  24. oh good grief, how could i have forgotten to say this?
    this is a brave, bold, courageous post, perfectly reflective of you.

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  25. SUSAN - I'm glad you've decided to keep your foot in the door of the blogging world. We get to make up our own rules about how we want to blog. I caught the end of an interview on NPR today and I heard a man say that if we feel our electronic means of expressing ourselves is growing our soul, vs. providing a selfish experience, then it is well worth it.

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  26. MARIE - You are one of the friends that has heard my many self-doubt tapes and you still show up and love me. Thanks

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  27. MARYLINN - I love your choice of words and the heart behind them in this comment. Now I know why I finally returned to blogging. It enriches me.

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  28. SUSAN - That cringe is unavoidable, no matter how much our friends try to tell us they don't see the effects of age. We're human. All of these comments here make me really want to be anything but normal.

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  29. HKARZ - Well put. I agree and I'm going to take your advice.

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  30. SHERRY - I hesitated writing and filming this post, but I'm so glad I did now. Your comment is 'right on.'

    "when do we give ourselves permission to stand in the stream of our own choosing? when do we stop allowing those who make us question ourselves into our inner lives? oy." - BRILLIANT!

    EQUALLY BRILLIANT - "i've come to find my own stream and i've come to feel comfortable in giving myself permission to end relationships that are toxic to me. there's a difference between that and being bitter or being a quitter. do what is right for you. often that finds us above what i call the timberline. for some reason the other animals- let's call them mustangs- can run and herd with each other. that's great. but not for this wild burro (me) (you). we can run with them for a bit, but comes the time when we realize our home is elsewhere, above that timberline many won't go to."

    THANK YOU! Your words are deeply appreciated. I pasted them here in case any readers scrolled past them. Perhaps I'll put them in my next post, with your permission.

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  31. GEORGE - You're right, We're not quite dead yet so we might as well live to the fullest extent our bodies will allow.

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  32. RRAINE - You are just the kind of 'not normal' I aspire to.

    Thanks for the kind words. Love you too!

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  33. PRAIRIE MAN - Wise words. I'm becoming more and more convinced as I read comments that I really don't want to be "normal" - just me.

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  34. KIRK - I love the visual of threading through society's currents. It reminds me of Professor Higgins in "My Fair Lady." - "Oozing charm from every pore, he oiled his way across the floor."

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  35. MARIA - Yes, yes. You're right. I want no pretense.

    I have a bunion and hammertoe too, but I love to wear sandals in the summer. Hence the glue-ons and the search for sandals that don't aggravate or reveal the ugliness too much.

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  36. MIKE - "...living life in the moment, neither looking forward to the could-be's, the ifs, and the might-be's or backward to the coulda, shoulda. One foot in front of the other." - Good advice.

    I'd like to put aside some of my deep questions and just enjoy life for a while.

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  37. OLD COWBOY - At least we question, even if we never arrive at convincing answers. People like us are more interesting, I think.

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  38. KELLY - Thanks for your kind words and for the introduction to your blog. Loved looking through it.

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  39. ARLENE - It's so good to read your comment here. I'm glad you identify with me. I think your loss must have been so much harder to bear and make sense of. Losing a husband is so hard to deal with.

    You're right. I'd rather be unique than normal.

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  40. LOACH - I love that poem. There is something to be said for becoming wizened.

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  41. SUSAN - LOVED your second comment. All this fading - It CAN be a beautiful sunset.

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  42. LIS - Yes, let's keep talking. I appreciated your emails of concern so much.

    I don't think any of my blogging friends are mainstream, and I'm glad.

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  43. DAVE - Yes, I think I'm becoming more and more convinced that I should just express myself and let the chips fall where they may. Thank you for your kind words.

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  44. JONAS - Yes, roaring and howling. Now I'm going to concentrate on being more of the me that is sure of myself. She's there and with all this encouragement, I feel brave enough to just be HER.

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  45. RACHEL - Sorry to have created shell shock. Hope you recover soon.

    Actually, I rarely (if at all) pin my tabs (LOVE THAT) back. It's too painful.

    Fallible Kass, oh yes.

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  46. ALESA - Glad to be back!

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  47. JIM - I know exactly what you mean about being presentable. There's a fine line between trying to express yourself through the way you groom and dress and going over the top into attention-getting. Ah yes, we must avoid the nudges.

    I love that word - TUBE. Would love to see a picture of one.

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  48. RRAINE - Thank you again.

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  49. Dear Kass,

    You're back, oh joy! I don't know what made me check my blog tonight, after weeks of ignoring it, but how glad I am that I did because there you were with a very you comment.

    I always think mainstream means dull enough to neither offend nor excite. Who wants to be that? Certainly not someone who jumps off mountains for fun!

    Lovely to hear your unique and marvellous voice again, it's enough to make me want to write another blog post. X

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  50. Oh Kass! First off welcome back. Second: I have no clue what is normal and Third: What an ingenious idea for big ears!!! I too have big ears. I tried glue, which did not work and nearly removed all the skin off from behind my ears. I glued my brother's ears too... needless to say, it was one baby step toward the realization of my never being "normal".

    I too have stepped away from blogging...partially because of the need to get rid of the burden of too much collective stuff. Suddenly it feels too heavy and it has been interfering with my creativity...or my desire to be creative...

    I have been ping ponging around within my life filling it with more days of lows than highs...which causes me to withdraw and analyze...

    Just when I have things figured out...something happens and shows me there were things I missed. Your post has stirred me to the point, I may go to my blog and post my thoughts...we'll see....

    Bottom line: I am so glad you are back because I miss your unique voice. One thing I have learned...strive to be yourself because it is far more interesting than "normal".

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  51. Oh, Kass. I am SO glad to see you back. And what a powerful posting. For some reason, you've been on my mind lately and I planned to email, to find out how you were doing as the anniversary of your mom's death circled around. I worry less about you after reading your post. Every time you worry that you are not normal---rejoice. People move through life trying hard to fit in, to look like they have everything under control, that they are secure within themselves. Very few people are what they appear. I prefer those who let life touch them deeply, who observe and question and measure themselves against everything that they bump into. People who write the kind of blogs that interest me are not shallow and out of touch with themselves, but infitely more in touch with themselves than that community you call "normal." This was a brave posting of doubts and insights. I prefer this authenticity to the "normal" airheads who blather about whatever the media or social circle tell them is the hot topic of the moment. You go, girl. Hang tough, while being gentle with yourself.

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  52. Hello Mom. I love you.

    I would quote myself from a conversation we had long ago ... "I am normal. You are related to me. You must be relatively normal." Yes I was joking then, but I do believe our frame of reference for our own normality should not be other people.

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  53. double-checking: did you get the e-mail i sent you?
    thanks,
    susan

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  54. At my 20th high school reunion recently, I got to sit by your son Todd, whom I admire greatly. I think some of that must be your fault.

    As far as "normal" goes, do you mean "cool" like "popular and accepted?" I've tried to be "cool" and accepted socially throughout my life, but I just don't think I'm wired for it. Thankfully, I've had people and situations that have helped me see that my contributions make a difference, despite what people think of me and despite how "liked" I feel.

    If you mean "normal" as in "real" and "down-to-earth," these are the kind of people that are the anchors in my life, and I appreciate them like my native kin. You seem to be one of these kind of people, which is why I come read your blog sometimes.

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  55. I think Jonathon just managed to say so eloquently what I have struggled to articulate as I've read all of these messages and wrangled with my silence.

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  56. And Todd - those two just made me cry.

    You are special and your own brand of normal, Kass.

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  57. DONNA B - I super-glued my ears down once too. It didn't last long and I looked weird and deformed.

    I hesitated for a minute before I hit the "post' button, but I'm glad I decided to share. The people who responded here are the ones I care about, along with my good friends whom I get to see face to face. I don't care about the others I once thought I had to impress in some way.

    No more aspirations to fit in with ill-defined social expectations. I just want to be one of the "real" and "down-to-earth" people Jonathon (above) so aptly described.

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  58. JAN - You and the others here have really encouraged me to rejoice in my uniqueness.

    I love this statement: "I prefer those who let life touch them deeply, who observe and question and measure themselves against everything that they bump into." - So well-put and wise.

    After reading your comment, I do feel I can "go girl" (with the best of them) and hang gently tough.

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  59. TODD - Remember the book I love that opens with the mother rocking her son and singing:

    I'll love you forever,
    I'll like you for always,
    As long as I'm living
    my baby you'll be.

    ...and after going through all the trials of raising him, the last page pictures the son holding his aged mother in the same rocking chair singing:

    I'll love you forever,
    I'll like you for always,
    As long as I'm living
    my Mommy you'll be.

    You're a wonderful son.

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  60. JONATHON - I just love your comment. As Rachel mentioned, it perfectly expresses what we all aim for in "normalcy."

    I think it's cool that you greatly admire my son and I greatly admire your mother, Marie.

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  61. RACHEL - I had a little cry fest too as I read Todd's, Jon's and your comment.

    This mass appreciation has been a little overwhelming to me.

    Thanks for checking back in.

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  62. Hi there, I've just discovered your blog--to my delight. I read your post ever so slowly because I felt here is someone really trying to say something about life.

    I don't want to be part of the mainstream, but I suppose I do some things to keep from drawing attention to myself. On a good day, I dry my hair and put on a touch of makeup and dress acceptably. On this same day, I try to talk like the folks around me and to be kind. However, I seem to have a fear of appearing to be too normal. I suppose this involves some sort of fear of losing my identity. Who knows.

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  63. I love your beautifull, blue eyes, girl. Lemme kiss your indelible feets in Heaven, please. God bless you. See ya soon.

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  64. Full of true, honest emotion.

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  65. Hi love,

    Somebody asked me a while back if I would ever consider 'going under the knife'. I said 'No, I plan to do the best I can with what I've got till it's over'.. besides, the value of authenticity gets in the way.

    You are one of the most authentic women I know.

    Remember this from a lovely time in our past?

    "Until you've lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it really is." :-)

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  66. My mother always tells me that Each of us are like a universe full of emotions and feelings...we rarely get to really see any of that...but if we do get a small glimpse,we are truly blessed.I feel blessed today,you have shared so much and I feel as though I am seeing you for the first time,with new eyes and I am thankful to know you.
    Some days I feel like I a fake,overembellishing what I can to keep my head above water...fitting into the mainstream,requires me to do so.I'm still learning,like you,to stand firm against the current.
    Everyday is a lesson.
    Today,you are mine.
    Cat

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  67. Oh Kass, I've long ago stopped looking at people and tried to just "see" them. And after combing through your comments its clear to me- you are seen, Kass, we all see YOU! I wish I could just write all the words that would somehow fill you up and help you see how much you matter! Because you do!

    My breast surgeon took my right breast and left a big, squishy mole, more prominent now than ever. He said, its part of who you are and I didn't feel right about taking when we hadn't talked about it. He proceeds to show me a big birthmark/mole on his arm that all of his doctor friends have told him they'd remove. Why? He says, its part of me, and I like me just fine... "warts and all."

    I wish I could just give you a big hug friend, I really do :) Sending love and blessings your way!

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  68. I've been meaning to come by and thank you for this. beautiful!

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  69. RUBEYE JACK - "I try to talk like the folks around me and to be kind." - This is one of the greatest things I've ever read. Your whole comment, your blog and your comments on other blogs show that you are well on your way to become the writer you want to be.

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  70. KKfs DUDE - Thanks (I think).

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  71. DAVE KING - Thanks. According to some, I'm honest to a fault.

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  72. MARYANNE - Love this quote: "Until you've lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it really is." :-)

    Love our friendship.

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  73. CAT - Thanks for your response.

    "...overembellishing what I can to keep my head above water." - When I get into my crafts, I call it "sacred puttering." Your work is inspired and sacred.

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  74. VICKY - You continue to amaze me as you deal with your cancer. You are so full of goodness it's hard to imagine that there's room for anything negative. I feel your hugs.

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  75. KIM - Thanks. This post was actually part of the reaction I had to your referral to the blog lady who posts people's reactions to aging. I must contact her.

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  76. You know that there is better than normal, right? To me that better is real. You seem terribly(no pun intended)real. I prefer that.
    ~Mary

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  77. Hi Kass. Thanks for stopping by my blog. It was wonderful to see you, and really great to read your comment. I love that you can connect me to string theory. No doubt a giant cat's cradle, with all the weirdos - persons of the non normal persuasion - out there passing the string back and forth.

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  78. Hello Kass...Thanks for the comment on my blog!
    And, I think you look Beautiful!
    I worry very little anymore about what others think...What a waste of precious time.
    Merry Christmas to you!!
    hughugs

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  79. Hey, lady, just wanted to say have a glorious 2012! X

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  80. first time here, and you write so well about the struggles of life.

    it is impossible to keep up with the standards and looks that society wants of us, but i suppose most of us toil away and try our best in this silly race to compete with the rich and famous that we are pretty much confronted with every day. it sure takes up a lot of time. some of it is wasted energy, for sure. and it is cliche to say that it is nice to find people that love us for what and who we are, and not for how beautiful, how young, and how wrinkle-free we are. i think we all go through this. it is best not to get too caught up in this stuff, but i find myself getting caught up in the nonsense of it all. sigh.

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  81. Thank you for sharing this information to us... Keep coming

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  82. How lovely you are! How open and honest and talented and troubled and complicated and I bet you are the best friend! Just loved your blog after all of your pain. I loved when you returned to life again by flying! You seriously inspire! I too am going to be on the Blog about growing older as were you in Feb(?) and thus I had the pleasure of meeting you! GOD HUG YOU!!!

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  83. Well, I'm late to the party, but I've been hibernating in my own way for the better part of a year. What do I do to appear normal? I wear a wig sometimes. My hair is crap and takes a long time to fix. So hell. Nowadays when people say they like my hair cut, I just say, "You can buy it too." Aging is hard but inevitable. I CANNOT BELIEVE you pin your ears! Wow. I thought the original were nice. Just saying. I wouldn't have given them a second thought. But we are always more critical of ourselves, aren't we? Sounds like you are on a good path. "It's my face. Deal with it." My friend Lisbeth always says "I have an ass. Deal with it!" Makes me laugh. But she is 1,000 times more confident than I am :) not to mention 20 years younger.

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It's nice to know you've stopped by. Thanks.