Even now, there are friends and co-workers that are surprised that I am lost when they talk about a certain movie, TV show, etc, and I have never heard of it before.
Recently, a co-worker had made a joke that a (now former) co-worker's attachment to his mother was almost like the character Norman Bates in the old Alfred Hitchcock movie "Psycho". I got a good laugh out of that one, and he turned and looked at me, and said simply "You got that one?". Indeed, I did. It was a good sign that I'm making some recovery in my transition into life after being a fundamentalist for so long. I never realized how much everyday conversations revolve around popular culture and references and comparison s to movies, TV shows, bands, and more until I started finding myself outside of fundamentalist circles, in places like my job.
I didn't realize much I was missing out on in life by isolating myself not only from mass media, but from people from different backgrounds, religions and lifestyles. You see, when you are brought up to believe that people of other religions are evil, or that "the world" is one degenerate, corrupt place, you only associate with the outside world as little as possible, and yes, at times, you even feel like you are superior, and too good to associate with outsiders.
Being more active online has helped me with both regards in exposing myself more to what's out there, first on a local forum, which is how I was introduced to a good friend who is a Wiccan, and the beauty of the history and symbolism it has, then writing this blog has introduced me to a variety of people, mostly on Google + discussions.
I'm slowly getting into normal life, but I know I will never be "normal" by many people's standards. My mind will affect how I relate to people probably for the rest of my life, because it's hard to understand and relate to people when your thought processes are completely different than 99% or more of the population, and I may never fully recover from the isolation that I experienced in my childhood and teen years. Despite it all, I will keep going, I will try my hardest, and I will continue to enjoy the world around me, there's so much great things out there.
I can't believe I actually refused to expose myself to great music like The Black Keys, or a new band that I just discovered, Halestorm (the lead singer really has quite a voice for rock):
The Black Keys, "I Got Mine"
Halestorm, "I Get Off":
I also really enjoy the comedy of Aussie comedian, Jim Jefferies: