Wednesday, 22 August 2018

On Being The "Weird One"

For as long as I can remember, I've always been "the weird one".

In any crowd, in any situation...I've always felt that, for some reason, I didn't quite "fit in" with other people.

I first noticed it when I was in infant school. When I walked confidently up to my class teacher on the first day, pointed at a boy called Phillip whom I'd never spoken to before in my life and announced to her and the rest of the class "I like that boy, I'm going to marry that one when I'm older".

The sniggers and years of reminders and teasing were my first clue that maybe saying exactly what's on your mind at any given moment isn't quite the normal thing to do!

I noticed the differences again when my classmates would have conversations about the pop stars they liked - I seemed to be the only one mentioning Marc Bolan and Bonnie Tyler while everyone else chatted about Bros.

When High School came around, my interest in Mark Owen and the rest of Take That bagged me a little group of friends for a while - we'd swap gossip about the fab five at break time, and we even had a sleepover once where we drew the Take That symbol on each others faces and danced the night away to Could It Be Magic - but as time went on, everyone else moved on to smoking weed and getting pissed up behind the offy while I hung on to my "babyish" love of Mark & co, and spent my evenings at home watching Corrie with my mum instead.

I tried once or twice to get on the wavelength of my peers - I once took a swig from a bottle of aftershave in science class because my friends were doing it to try to get a "buzz" (The label said it contained alcohol....Ahhh to be 15 again!) - but it just never came naturally to me. It always felt like I was faking being "normal" if that makes any kind of sense.

I've always been a strange mix of Super Sensible and a little bit serious, but also Airy Fairy and "Head in the clouds" too.

Then came college, but even there - at the height of my "Popular" phase (which lasted for probably about 2 months before people realised I wasn't actually the cool out-of-towner they thought I was, that I was actually just a bit of a nerd!) - I struggled to know what to talk about. What the "cool crowd" was in to.

For some reason, my likes and interests have just never seemed to follow the same pattern as "most people".

Even now, as a 36 year old - I still feel it sometimes.

I've never watched an episode of Game Of Thrones, The Handmaids Tale or The Walking Dead in my life and don't have any desire to, nor most other "cool" Netflix series. For reasons unknown, they just don't appeal to me.

I couldn't name you a single Stormzy song if I tried (Do they even call them songs?! Is that still an acceptable word?! They don't sing them so are they still a song?!) ... infact its just taken me a good 7 minutes to remember his name!

I don't mind the occasional Ed Sheeran track if it comes on the radio but I don't really have any interest in buying his albums or rushing out to his concerts like most of the people I know do...I'd rather get tickets to a Barry Manilow gig if I'm honest!

I've never read the latest book everyones talking about, I NEVER like the fashion trends everybody else is into (WTF is with the tassle earrings at the moment?! I've tried to like them, I even bought some...but I just hate them?! I'm not a member of Bananarama so why else would I want brightly coloured tassles in my ears?!), and I never seem to want to talk about the same things as most "normal" people.

I want to talk about things that get me fired up. I want to have conversations about the meaning of life, about politics, about feminism, about social injustices.

I also, in equal measure, want to talk about who Britney Spears latest man is and what bullshit the Kardashians have come out with on social media lately as well as who's just got the boot on Love Island.

I want to spend my evenings reading my tarot cards, and looking at beautiful drawings of fairies (because honestly? I believe in fairies. Yep, I'm a fully grown woman who believes in fairies. Make of that what you will), watching documentaries about life inside correctional facilities or true crimes, or just reliving my youth watching movies like Clueless, She's All That and The Craft. Going my the spiritualist centre and talking about Auras.

I rarely go anywhere unless its somewhere with Jon & the boys, but in all honesty - I also never really want to. On the rare occasions that I DO arrange to do something with friends, I usually end up dreading it for weeks and wishing I had an excuse not to coz I'd rather just stay at home in my pyjamas (all of which are Disney themed, btw).

But the thing is, as I've gotten older - I've started to learn to accept that I will simply never be cool.

I'm not edgy. I'm never in possession of knowledge of the latest "trends" and I'll certainly never be the one to start one. I'm not the one to tell you about the latest must watch TV show or fill you in on any gossip because I rarely know any.

I bumble along in my own little world, doing my own little thing much as I always have.

Nothing much has changed - I'm just as much the slightly-awkward odd one out now as I was at 16.

Just like I never quite fit in to any of the "groups" in school - because I wasn't popular enough for the popular crowd, or edgy and wild enough for the rebel crowd, or clever enough for the geek crowd - I don't really belong in any particular "Adult Group" either - I'm not crunchy enough for the crunchy mums, but I'm not mainstream enough for the mainstream mums either.

I don't really know where I'm supposed to fit.

The only difference is - I don't mind it half as much as I used to.

And I wish I could go back and tell my 16 year old self this...

There's a lot to be said for doing your own thing, following your own mind and interests, and not forcing yourself to fit in to any particular nicely labelled box.

You are not a shoe. You do not need a box.

You are what you are. And by being true to yourself, you'll find your own people...the ones who are the right fit for you. Who like you as you are.

And the ones who don't? Well that's ok...they're not your people. They were never supposed to be.

It's OK to be a bit weird.

There are actually a LOT more weird people around than normal ones, you know. They're just busy getting on with their lives and looking like normal people...just like you!

So be weird...stand the things that make you feel happy. Normality is way over rated.

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