Okay folks. I’m going to try to keep this short, sweet, and to the point, but I make no promises. Quite frankly, once I write it, I’m probably not going to edit it. If I do, I probably won’t post it, and I think I need to post it. More importantly, I think it needs to be said.
I’ve been an outsider for basically all my life. We probably all have. I’ve always been too quiet, too smart, too nerdy, too big, too different. It’s not to say I didn’t have friends. I did – eventually – find a group of misfits to be my friends, but that wasn’t perfect either. Most of the time, I like the fact that I’ve never been like everyone else, but sometimes it’s wearying.
I guess the biggest problem with all of it, was that I began to doubt myself. In every personality test ever that they gave us in school, I ended up hitting the 80th percentile (or higher) on the introverted scale. If you’ve never been so fortunate to learn it, this is, apparently, bizarrely high. This inevitably resulted in a call home and an appointment with the school counselor to figure out what was wrong with me. Which is really great when you’re 13. Because being 13 doesn’t suck enough.
Instead of explaining it to me, they just treated me like a freak of sorts. So when I don’t like things that “everyone” likes – like parties and clubs, I start to wonder what’s wrong with me. In my more angsty – and slightly ridiculous – moments, I start ask all the “what ifs” about all the other things that “everyone” likes. What if I don’t like college? What if I don’t like drinking? What if I don’t like sex?
More pertinent to this community, I said my mish-mash group of friends weren’t perfect? Here’s why. All of my friends could draw. Except me. All of my friends wrote music. Except me. All of my friends were one of the best in the school on their instrument. Except me. All of my friends could sing. Except me. And they let me know. Constantly. Which makes it a little hard to join and participate in something like this.
Most people, me included, are posting/will post something celebrating being an outsider. At the same time, I think we need to remember that sometimes it can really, really suck. And sometimes it’s not a choice.