I've always been different. It's like I have horns growing out of my forehead. Or a halo floating above me. Or both.

I don't really know how to explain the feeling of being different. I don't even know what it is that makes me different. Being smart, or talented, or having a strong testimony can't be that abnormal - right? And yet finding a group of people who understand me and where I feel like I fit in has been a fruitless search for most of my life.

It's not that I can't find people who love me. I have family, friends, tons of acquaintances and others in my life who would be willing to do anything for me. But understanding me... is a totally different thing. Everyone tells me that I'm different. Everyone. Without fail. Even the people who claim that "everyone is different" and "no one is normal" tell me that I'm an outlier. And among the people who love me and try to understand, I still feel like a stranger.

Here's an example that some of you may have experienced: A few days ago, in the middle of a conversation, someone asked me how I could stay morally clean when urges hit me - specifically, how I could date girls and stop at just kissing. If only he knew. I've never wanted to kiss a girl. Ever. I couldn't understand him. I also knew he wouldn't be able to understand why I had never wanted to kiss a girl, so I left out that part, recited part of "For the Strength of Youth," and talked about how I overcome temptations (not to kiss girls, but temptations nonetheless).

That type of thing happens to me in everything. I have unique viewpoints on calculus, on biology, on music, on religion, on politics, on social structures, on faith, and on everything else in the world. Taken one by one, I can find people who understand and hold the same beliefs. But combined together, I'm just crazy different. I'm an anomaly, an enigma, and an oxymoronic impossibility all rolled into one.

Being different is nice, to a point. It sometimes garners me attention. It means that people notice me instantly and, sometimes, I can make waves and effect lasting change. But being different also brings with it the curse of never fitting in. Never feeling like I'm "one of the crowd" or feeling truly comfortable in a group of friends.

There is one place that I feel like someone understands me. It's in my prayers - whether at my bedside or over meals. The Lord knows me, perfectly, and knows who I was, who I am, and who I can someday become. My goal is to become like Him - and, from that perspective, it doesn't matter if I'm different from everyone else. I just need to follow the counsel of the prophet and the voice of the Spirit. There's nothing wrong with being different as long as I am changing, overcoming the difficulties of mortality, and redefining who I am to come closer to God.

Everyone tells me that being normal is overrated. I don't know. I've never been normal in anything. When I was little, I wanted to grow up to be normal. To have a normal job, live a normal life, and feel like I could fit in with normal people. For better or worse, I don't think it will ever happen. Maybe it's something I need to learn - just one of the facets of my mortality. Whatever the reason, I'll probably always, in every circumstance, among every group of people, be different.
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