Monday, March 19, 2012


As hard as I’ve tried to “fit in” over the course of my life, I’ve often stood out.  At almost six feet tall, it’s difficult for me to disappear in a crowd, even when I try.  Despite my small-town roots (and I scored a 60 on the “How Thick is Your Bubble” quiz, so my small-town-ness has been proven – by science), I’ve always loved language and have been accused on more than one occasion of using “too many big words.”  I’m no longer allowed to play games at my office Christmas party because I won too many times over the years.  In a world where introversion is fast-becoming the new black, I’m the extrovert everyone stares at like a zoo exhibit.

Uniqueness is supposed to be a good thing, right?

Twice in the last week I’ve gotten feedback on my “uniqueness” (ahem).  The first was from a coworker who was marveling over my sudden, exuberant celebration of Pi Day (I brought in five pies, obviously.  They were all round.  I could have made square pies if I’d planned ahead.  Maybe next year?).  I was arranging pies on the table and he looked at me quizzically and said “You’re kind of a freak, you know that, right?  You’re completely geeky, but you’re really socially well-adjusted.  It’s seriously weird.”

Today’s feedback was a bit more serious.  A friend of mine is in law school (and working full time) and has been far too busy to keep up our regular levels of communication.  He said he just hasn’t had the mental bandwidth to really talk with me lately.  “You’re thoughtful and you challenge me.  It’s work keeping up with you.  It’s well worth the effort, but it’s work.”

Weird.  Challenging.  Freak.  You’d think that after almost 42 years of oddity, I’d be used to it by now, but I'm not.  I think I’m still holding on to this utopian idea that I’ll find a niche where I fit in.  I’m hoping that I’ll find a partner that won’t be exhausted by the way my brain works.  I’m still clutching the belief that there’s some welcome space in the melee for a socially-adept freak like me.  Maybe I should just let go of these notions and accept that I might never fit.

Uniqueness is supposed to be a good thing, right?

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