I was always an odd kid, as anyone who knows me could probably guess. One prime example of this was when I was eight years old. I had this one friend, and in hindsight I’m not even sure if she liked me or just tolerated me, but regardless, she was technically my friend. We’re standing in the schoolyard one day, and I can’t recall the context, but she says to me how nice it would be to lay on a cloud. Now, I was an overly literal little smart ass, I thought I was smarter than everyone else I think. Maybe a defense mechanism, maybe I was (though that is doubtful). Anyway, I said to her- “You can’t sit on a cloud! It’s made of water, you’d fall right through.” She got annoyed.
I’m not sure what the point of that little story was. I guess to show that even as a small child I was always a little bit offbeat. And, of course, once you are offbeat as a child, at least in my case, it comes to define your beat for life. My lack of fitting in in grade school stayed with me, even though no one from my elementary school went to my high school. I started 9th grade determined to be a totally different person- and I just wasn’t. I mean, I aged, I changed, I skipped class, but I didn’t magically become normal and beloved, it’s as if there was a scarlet O painted on my forehead from my slightly offbeat childhood.
I don’t know why I was so…odd. Maybe it was my mom, maybe it was that I didn’t go to Kindergarten and went right to 1st grade. Maybe it was the divorce, and the stereotypical abandonment issues that go along with that. Maybe it’s a brain thing. Maybe it’s a race thing (though that’s doubtful). Whatever it was, as a small child and through to the present day, has been the constant realization that when I walk into a room, I don’t quite belong there. That I’m not quite like everyone else, that I’m just a little off.
And, my schooling has taught me that no one is actually normal, it’s a fiction, a falsehood, a media created fable. But, that never really changed the desire at various points of my life to just be like everyone else. Even as I looked down on people for being vapid or annoying, I envied them their seeming effortless ability to blend into whatever crowd they were a part of. I envied the fact that if they were constantly plotting out every action the way I sometimes felt I had to, they certainly hid it better. I envied them their lack of awkward.
And, now I’m a little more comfortable with myself I guess, but…I still wish for a lack of awkward. For a better ability to make small talk, to connect with people, to not walk into walls (this has happenned before, I swear, I’m the one girl who would actually walk into a door and get a black eye), to feel like I belonged when I walked into a room. To have grown up being normal- whatever that means.