I was always kind of an oddball growing up. It was a rural community, hard and tough. Sports reigned supreme. Petite and blonde was admired. I was a bleeding heart book nerd with a big ole mop of frizzy curly hair. It was also the 90s which meant waif-y cool girls were all over the T.V. going along with whatever their boyfriends said. I had no boyfriend, ever. And I didn’t go along with whatever, ever. Far too many opinions and dreams, that one, they said…
In my 20s my headspace of feeling out of place continued for the most part. I had a lot more fun as I found my voice and freedom, but still I tended to look to my right and left and find very few kindred spirits.
Somewhere in your 30s though, you somehow stop caring don’t you? Actually, it’s more than ambivalence about being different — it’s embracing being different. Maybe it’s the fact that you’ve bounced back from more than a few giant failures and realized that you can survive it. Maybe it’s motherhood that not only makes you too tired to care and gives you a daily dose of humility in the form of wiping butts and being on the receiving end of toddler brutal honesty, but also gives you a daily gut check of perspective on what really matters. Maybe it’s that fewer and fewer people give you those double-take wowza eyes anymore, as your face increasingly wrinkles and your waist thickens — and that fact makes you feel a little invisible but also a little free. Maybe it’s that you’ve learned and experienced a *hella* lot, and you rest comfortably confident in your own abilities now. Maybe it’s the realization that actually everyone has at some point suffered from their own unique brand of different.
Maybe it’s all that. Maybe it’s none of that. Maybe that’s just me. Maybe that’s you, too.
At any rate, I’m still the oddball in a lot (most?) settings, at least in my own mind. But now I take some degree of pride, or at least ease, in that because I have seen enough years to know that those oddball things about me have actually worked to my advantage and surprisingly, made me uniquely suited to many adventures. The Oddfellow, this blog, is the next one. And if ever there was an odd fellow, it’s me. Maybe there are others out there and they’ll find a place here, too. Let the adventure begin.