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Mariah's avatar

What is unique or rare about you that gives you an "insider" perspective on situations? Enlighten us on what it's like to be you!

Asked by Mariah (19100 points ) August 5th, 2011

Maybe you have a very interesting and unusual hobby, lifestyle, job, or personality trait. What about you gives you a particularly unique perspective to offer? Tell us some of you “insider” knowledge!

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45 Answers

_zen_'s avatar

Father. Soldier. Poet. Multi-lingual. Survivor.

I am a bit of a swiss army knife.

Well travelled.

These probably give me certain insights. That, and I am smart ennough to know how little I really know – curious, and a student of life.

KateTheGreat's avatar

I know a lot of languages and I’ve lived in many different countries so I have the “inside look” on what it’s like to live in various places.

That’s the only interesting thing I could think of right now. I’m quite boring in other aspects.

TexasDude's avatar

My personality is kind of dichotomous.

On the one hand, I’m kind of an old school mountain man/hillbilly country boy. I shoot guns, drink hard liquor and I love moonshine, like 4 wheel drive things, like to fish and hunt, I pick guitar, a little bit of fiddle, and I’m learning banjo, I like to bareknuckle box, and I grow my own food.

On the other hand, I’m a bit of an erudite old-world gentleman. I’m teaching myself Arabic and Latin, I can read German, I collect antique books, I like fine wine and food, I always shake peoples’ hands and look them in the eye when I meet them, I believe in ideals of liberty, I’ve read and studied great literature and the Classics, and I’m the go-to guy when you need emotional support. Oh, and I write poetry and novels.

Basically, I’m two people in one, but I don’t think my two halves are necessarily mutually exclusive.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Heavens to Betsy! What a question! I’m gay. I’m a drag queen. I’m a father of 3. I don’t believe in God but follow astrology and have been creeped out by how accurately I can read tarot cards. I have won awards for my poetry. I’m an actor. I’m a recovered alcoholic with 12 years of sobriety. I’m bipolar.

I could go on and on, but modesty forbids.

incendiary_dan's avatar

I’m rapidly approaching being a true hunter-gatherer-gardener. I’m sort of an “insider” for the ecosystem, particularly in terms of knowing how to use natural resources or make things that others often assume require industrial technology.

Mariah's avatar

There are a few little things about me that I think give me a perspective that you don’t hear from every day. Here’s one:

I have an ileostomy. To my knowledge, I’m the only ostomate on Fluther. My ileostomy is temporary and I’m getting surgery to remove it later this month, but many people around the world have permanent ostomies. Most people don’t like to talk about it due to the nature of beast, and so those who don’t have them and don’t have loved ones who have them, usually don’t even know there is such a thing!

An ileostomy is a surgically created setup to go to the bathroom in a different way. Many people who have certain digestive diseases need to get their colons removed (I got mine removed due to ulcerative colitis) and it’s not always possible to continue going to the bathroom…through your bum…anymore after the colon is removed. I’m one of the lucky few who will be able to continue going normally after my upcoming surgery. But most people who have their colons removed end up with an ileostomy for life. The way it works, is the surgeon takes the end of the small intestine, creates an opening in the front of the abdomen on the right side (usually), and puts the small intestine through the hole so that about an inch of it sticks out. This inch of exposed small intestine is called a stoma. There is no muscle at the end of the small intestine, so, well, it poops almost constantly. So ostomates have to wear a bag over it to…collect…that. The bag sticks to the belly using adhesives and is air-tight so nothing escapes. There are also colostomies, in which only a portion of the colon is removed. In these cases, the stoma is an inch of colon, not small intestine. And there are urostomies too, which I don’t know much about, but serve the same purpose for people whose urators are damaged.

The bag has to be changed 1–2 times a week. You peel it off and stick on a fresh one. It’s quite easy, but things can get more complicated if the adhesives irritate your skin, which is common.
The bag is easily concealed underneath clothing, but going through airline security and other situations in which “hiding” something under the clothing is unacceptable, can be very difficult for ostomates.

I think the two most difficult parts of being an ostomate are worrying about leaks and reconciling your body image. Leaks happen if the adhesives don’t stick well enough, and can be horribly embarrassng and traumatic if they happen at the wrong place or the wrong time. Many ostomates have to work hard to get over their fear of leaks in order to return to a normal lifestyle after surgery. The body image issue is pretty obvious. Not only do you come in visual contact with your own guts every time you get naked, which isn’t fun, but, well, you have a bag of poop hanging from your belly all the time. I still am not okay with this and am really looking forward to having my ostomy reversed.

So this is just a brief overview of life as an ostomate. There are more of us out there than you’d ever think or know, as it’s a secret that most ostomates choose to hide. It’s too bad that the nature of the setup is one that most people have an automatic aversion to, because it discourages awareness about the situation. Awareness would make life easier for ostomates around the world.

Ron_C's avatar

What I have shouldn’t be rare but it seems to be. I look at events and remember history. What I think is common sense seems to be either revelation or outright lies depending on the observer.

I would say that I am a progressive engineer that looks at facts and past history and makes logical judgments based on my observations and research.

TexasDude's avatar

Oh yeah, for the insider part of the question, I guess you could say that I can use my knowledge to my advantage in diverse situations. I know how to talk to and consort with country people and even real hardcore rednecks, and I know how to behave in polite society and at black tie affairs.

Blackberry's avatar

I don’t have any real skills I guess. I’ve just been floating around, living and working. Maybe when I grow up and experience more. I don’t think what I’ve done is different from anyone else.

MilkyWay's avatar

I’m very analytical about things. I get that a lot from people close to me, saying you would be a good analysist and your very observant. That’s a unique skill I suppose I have that I could use in the future.
I’m quite strong in biology, it’s my strongest subject in school, so if you want to know anything about the human body, or animals, ask me.

TexasDude's avatar

@Blackberry I don’t have any real skills I guess.

For some reason, I doubt that.

ninjacolin's avatar

Ninjician.

linguaphile's avatar

Uhmm… I’m a paradox?
I study language intensely (both spoken and visual) and am more interested in the unspoken; I absolutely love everything about music and am profoundly deaf; I’m a passionate teacher and hate the profession; I am both an extrovert and an introvert; I’m both a creative artist and a logician; I’m a published writer and hate to share my writing; I come across as confident and peppy and can be dark and insecure; I’ve studied art, photography, medicine, literature, public speaking, composition, linguistics, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, marketing… I loooove school but I’m lousy at turning my papers in on time. Ummm… can be very forgiving and unforgiving… I could go on, but like I’ll take @hawaii_jake‘s modesty route.
note: on purpose, I didn’t use ‘but,’ I used ‘and’ I’m weird and lovable, not weird but lovable

Blackberry's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Yeah, but I’m just having trouble pinpointing what my skills are.

TexasDude's avatar

@Blackberry I know that feel, bro. For all the crap I do, I can’t seem to figure out how to market it or make it work for me.

wilma's avatar

I am a water dowser.

Blackberry's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Hahahah! Yeah, some people grow up seemingly already predestined to be engineers, lawyers, or computer programmers.

TexasDude's avatar

@Blackberry I know! If only reading books, partying, and kicking ass/taking names translated well to a high paying job. Oh well. One can dream.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Blackberry Aren’t you in the military? Or at least work for them in some capacity?

Blackberry's avatar

@incendiary_dan Yeah, but meteorology is such a math intensive field. It’s discouraging sometimes. But I’m sticking with it :)

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Blackberry Still, that’s definitely an inside look at something most of us don’t see. Even if it is boring! :P

TexasDude's avatar

Dude, some TV meteorologists make a fuckton of money.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@wilma That is cool! A friend recently hired one:)

Blackberry's avatar

@incendiary_dan Yeah, thanks man : )
@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard That’s why I’m sticking with it lol.

redfeather's avatar

Hmmm. Where to begin, I’m so friggin interesting.

I’m very indecisive, which is why I’ve changed my major so many times. If only there was a job that allowed me to be a baker, makeup artist, hair stylist, zookeeper, archaeologist, graphic designer, falconer. For now, I’m pursuing anthropology/history.

I have a little girl. She’s 2. And she’s crazy. And hilarious. My mom found a box turtle in our yard today and brought it in to show her and she laid next to it and said he was scared and sad and sick so she petted it, “put a bandaid” on it and blew kisses at it.

I love to be goofy with my best friend in the whole world. The things we say to each other never makes sense to anyone else but we regularly tell each other that we’re the funniest people on the planet. Like when we’re in the mall and get “Ballerina Tourette’s” which causes us to do elegant leaps and toe points and whatnot, and then we apologize. It’s goddamn funny and you know it.

I was painfully shy in high school. Like, if I needed to go to the restroom or sharpen my pencil, I’d just make due with a swelling bladder and tiny broken piece of lead because I didn’t want anyone to see me when I walked across the room. I must’ve been delusional because I’m pretty sure no one would have noticed me. All the friends I made in high school told me they thought I was some evil bitch because I never talked to anyone and always looked mad. I was shy and have a naturally mad face!

I once brought a kitten home and told my mom I found it behind a dumpster when really my friend’s cat had kittens and she gave me one. Her name was Lola. She once attacked my dad for a hamburger.

DominicX's avatar

I am a huge fan of language and linguistics; I’ve been studying it for years. I am a Latin fanatic; I bought 4 textbooks and went through them this summer just for fun. I have even ventured into the stormy rocky territory that is creating your own language; I have never completed it, but it is, and probably will be for a while, a work in progress. I know odd linguistic information like the various ways in which Latin expresses emphasis, through reduplication of personal pronouns, the usage of emphatic suffixes…I know how Latin reduplicates to express indefiniteness in pronouns…I know how hard it is to create a consistent pattern of forming new words in a constructed language…

Additionally, I have thousands of classical pieces stored as mp3s ranging from the 17th century to now. I am also gay and I don’t know too many people who are (in real life) and that does some inside info on it.

I have met few people besides myself who have such radically different sides. I am a member of a frat, I party and drink, I’m athletic, and yet I have this incredibly nerdy side of me where I find reading Latin and history textbooks fun and create languages, even. I’ve never met someone who has both 17th century classical music and Lil Wayne on their iPod…

lemming's avatar

I don’t know right now. Ask me in a few months, then I’ll know.

redfeather's avatar

@DominicX I’ve got Mozart, Sylvia Plath poems, and T.I. on my ipod… does that count?! XD

Cruiser's avatar

I am Clairsentient…I feel energy specifically peoples energy and even interact with their energy. I found this out after years of martial arts and ultimately yoga. Without touching a person I can feel their energy flow with my hands and even palpitate muscles and reduce even eliminate pain and inflammation in sore muscles. A no touch massage if you will.

I am also a fiend in the kitchen. Give me any set of ingredients and I will whip you up a decent if not awesome meal. Let me bring my own ingredients and you are in for a real treat.

gondwanalon's avatar

I’m the lone wolf type and find it painful and energy draining to participate in group effort situations (which I have to do at work). I recharge my energy by getting away from people and by exercising on my own (jogging, cycling, swimming and calisthenics). People at work likely see me as a strange old buzzard that is introverted, very gentile and kind, very tactful, quiet, with sarcastic streak. Oh and I’m a very hard worker bee too. People at work also say that I’m a very funny guy. Most people love my droll sense of humor. But I’ve notice that a very few folks clearly indicate that they can’t stand my mocking view of the world and for them I quickly deceased and desist. HA. Oh well. Once I’m in my own personal world, I’m a dreamer without boundaries. I’m a free thinker always struggling to understand why things are as they are presented and how they can be improved. I have many ideas to same money at work but people don’t like their paradigms broken. Any way..ah, but…”this too shall pass”.

Coloma's avatar

I’m the extroverted sanguine, rather hedonostic, Happy brownie loving, animal and nature nut, creative, humorous, verbose, bohmian type.

I’d say my best traits are my genuineness, easy to get to know, I make people feel very comfortable, my integrity, emotional stability, my humor, my fast brain and ability to converse on most levels, my childlike delights, and a strong sense of devotion to those that show me they are solidly inhabiting their authenticity.

My negatives, I am prone to bouts of hedonism, lack of discipline.
Nothing over the top, but, I do enjoy my food, drink and Happy Brownies when in Waldon Pond mode. Starts today, just came in from Happy Brownie naked watering. lol

Coloma's avatar

Oooh, @Cruiser ‘s cookin’ dinner!

lemming's avatar

Oh I got it…eh..no, that’s not it either. Haha

KateTheGreat's avatar

Oh, I have another one.

I have a job singing opera and regular restaurant job, so I know the best of both worlds.

Bellatrix's avatar

I don’t know how to answer this question. It is a really good question @Mariah but tough to answer because it is so subjective. I don’t know what if anything is rare or unusual about me? I don’t see myself that way. I will try though.

I am a daughter and I lost my mother very young and my father in my 20s, I think that is different to many people. It makes you aware of your own mortality.

I left home quite young and had to become very self-sufficient and made errors along the way that I learned from.

I am a migrant. I came to Australia when I was in my early 20s and that was different. I have been made redundant, which is a very hard thing for people to deal with when it happens.

I am a mother. I have three amazing children and that has shown me how individual our children are and has reminded me of my flaws, has given me immense joy, has been frustrating and has taught me more than anything else in my life.

I have been married twice. I have been divorced and had to battle the court system and child-support systems. I have had to help my children through that time and they did so much to help me through that time. I have married again and have learned how amazing it is to be in the ‘right’ relationship for you with a person who just fits you like a glove.

I am estranged from most of my birth family and that is hard. It is still hard. I don’t regret decisions I have made but it doesn’t make me feel less of an outsider. I have also learned I am closer to my older brother than I ever knew because I am not estranged from him.

I am well educated. I have completed my PhD. I worked three jobs at times while I was doing that but I was so determined to get it finished.

I have worked with disadvantaged people in our society and learned so much from them about sacrifice and responsibility and how tenacious and strong people can be. And about how cruel and unfair we can be.

I have some amazing colleagues (and some not so amazing colleagues). I have a busy job that affects literally thousands of people each day. I am good at it and I take my role seriously.

I know a lot and have experienced much and my experiences are unique and rare to me, but I am not unique and rare. There are many people who have experienced far more and have learned more. I am old enough to know, I will never stop learning.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I’m a nurse and a military spouse. Mine aren’t exactly unusual or rare, but they definitely give me an “insider” view that others may not have.

Mariah's avatar

Thanks so much for your answers so far everyone, I love learning about other people’s little corners of the world! I forgot to add in my other post to feel free to ask me if you have any questions or are curious about ostomies. I think people are usually afraid to pry, and some people get offended when asked such things. I’m not one of those people because I see any increase in awareness as a good thing. So my inbox is always open. :)

Hibernate's avatar

Always trying to improve myself.

Joker94's avatar

I find myself to be something of a slacker. I don’t take things too, too seriously, and tend to get weirded out when people do. I’m not athletic, so I pour most of my energy into acting and music. I’ll treat anyone with respect, so long as they’re deserving of it. I’ll be the first guy to call you “sir” or “ma’am”, and the second to call you “dude. I’m passionate about good movies, comic books, great friends, great music, and being stupid in moderation.

Bellatrix's avatar

@Mariah. Your post about ostomies was really interesting and I thank you for it. I think you are right, it is one of those hidden, unspoken about things. To be informed is good and especially since my husband has just found out he has Crohns Disease. He doesn’t seem to have a severe case, thank goodness, but we are still in the ‘learning about it’ phase.

Thanks again for your informative and honest post.

Symbeline's avatar

Eh, I just like horror movies a little too much, and I really feel for the homeless.

Plus, some day, I shall be a god. Even if I fail and am forgotten, I’ll have done my best lol.

It’s very unlikely that I’ll fail though.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

I’m a very perceptive person, and I have the ability to “read” people really well.

I have a very good eye for what “looks good” and can sense trends and the “pulse of the public”.

Despite my ability to connect with people and things associated with them, I am not what you call a “social butterfly”. I grew up with a menagerie of animals and connect with animals better than with people. As a youngster, I was well-read and bookish, did very well in school, but hated gym and sports. I was overweight and chubby, and got teased a lot for that. :(

In high school, I shed the pounds and acquired a very good physique through exercise and diet, and I became an excellent swimmer and won a lot of swimming competitions. In that respect, I was a great athlete. I still don’t like most sports, however.

I have a good knowledge of trees and know the scientific names of almost every tree on earth, and I love the art of bonsai and have a collection of very old bonsai trees. Sports cars are also my passion.

Growing up, I hated school, but I still managed to do well and earned the usual honors and 3 university degrees in 7 years. I was intellectually lazy, so I have to attribute my success to having an excellent memory.

I am of Japanese/Chinese heritage, but was born here in America. I grew up immersed in 3 different cultures, Japanese, Chinese, and the white mainstream culture. Growing up, I never knew which culture I really belonged to——as a result, I tend to see the “world” through all 3 cultures. My main language is English, and I speak some Japanese and Chinese too. At home, I spoke Japanese to my Mom, Chinese to my Dad, and English to my siblings. Sigh!

By the way, excuse me for sounding vain. That wasn’t my intention here. Lol!

augustlan's avatar

I have a lot of insider knowledge about some very unpleasant things, so bear with me. I was sexually abused for the first 13 years of my life, and survived it. I’m very open about it, so I tend to hear many other people’s abuse stories, too. Often, I’m the first person they’ve ever told. I hope it helps them to move past the trauma, as I have.

My mother has Borderline Personality Disorder, and she never stopped my abuser, or even stopped talking to him. I no longer have a relationship with her.

I’ve been dirt poor and really well off, so I know both sides of those stories. These days, I’m more to the poor side, but far happier than I was when I was well-off. That old saying, “Money doesn’t buy happiness” is absolutely true!

I have several chronic illnesses that routinely interfere with my life, so I’m down with that, too. While kidney disease is the most serious, fibromyalgia has been the real life-changer.

I suffered from anxiety, severe panic attacks, and depression for more years than I’d like to remember. I’m much better now.

One of my children inherited the severe anxiety, and developed an extremely rare and life-threatening phobia of choking. She stopped eating altogether because of it. At eight years old, she weighed just 44½ pounds… a half pound away from being hospitalized with a feeding tube, just before we finally found something she would eat that would give her enough calories to survive: melted vanilla ice cream mixed with Ensure and chocolate syrup. That concoction, vanilla milkshakes, and chocolate pudding were her entire diet for about a year. Thank goodness the only expert on this phobia in the United States was based at Children’s Hospital in DC, which was close enough that we could drive our daughter there every week for months. She’s much better now. :)

I’m a fairly well educated high-school dropout. I don’t have a diploma or a degree.

On the more positive side, I’m the mother of three great teenaged girls, and all are very bright. Two of them went to a magnet school for gifted kids, so I have some insight on that.

I’m amicably divorced, and my kids live primarily with their father. This was a mutual decision, and we still parent as a team. I’m happily remarried, their dad is engaged, and the kids love our new(ish) partners.

Most recently, I’ve learned an awful lot about community management. I don’t really know how relevant that is, but it does seem kind of rare.

Ron_C's avatar

@Mariah I gave you a GA because it was very wise of you to ask people about their favorite subject…themselves.

laineybug's avatar

I’m not really that interesting or different. I do pick things up quickly though and tend to understand and empathize with peoples emotions more than other people. Oh and I had small motor skills when I was younger, my parents were told I’d never be able to use scissors correctly. I sew by hand now, so I the doctors were wrong. I guess I grew out of it. But sometimes I still have trouble with typing and writing and rarely when I’m playing my clarinet I have issues moving my fingers right. So I guess I have some insight on that.

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