Personally Exceptional, or Exceptionally Personal?
Being different: first it's a torture, a singling out, a wall built by the other typical small humans to isolate themselves from the diseased, the weak, the different, that will be picked off, and we find ourselves on the other side, alone, awaiting the wolf, hoping we have some defense against him.
Later, we own it, we choose it, it morphs into our identity. It becomes, not embarrassment but bailiwick. We jauntily don our red riding hoods and await the wolf, confident, unafraid, knowing what makes him tick, knowing we have something just as fearsome within us, this weirdness, our weapon.
In young adulthood, we believe ourselves superior, better than the common. Why would I want to participate in your old, outmoded, crusty ways? I am, we are, above it. We study radicals and hope we can ally ourselves, somehow.
Then middle adulthood arrives. We've fought the battles, wear an armor of mirror-polished cynicism, and yet at some level have cooperated with the world and its ways, if we have even a small measure of prosperity. We know it's all tied up. Go with the flow, get ahead. Even if you don't, you must sell to those who do. Self-hate ramps up. What happened? Where did I lose my way? We know we can't fight the world, so we fight ourselves, drink, drug, ignore, tune out, to survive. To stay alive, most of us blur the sharp edges. Still, we believe ourselves different somehow. Are we?
"Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me." - de la Rocha, Morello, et al