I am an oddball… and a certified nerd. A series of identity crises and extended periods of introspection have led me to a point in my life where I no longer care whether people think I’m strange. Well, at least right now I don’t care.
I think the reason you start caring in the first place is that when you have very niche interests, you tend to feel a bit isolated if there isn’t anyone around you who shares your interests. Loneliness has this amazing way of getting you to try to fit in, even if that means you have to lock away the best parts of yourself.
I was feeling this way a few weeks ago – so ready to fully inhabit my skin, but feeling as if there was a glass wall separating me and everyone else. It seemed as if I had one of two options. Either I’d have to censor myself again in order to fit in or I’d have to deal with the loneliness and isolation. I didn’t like either of these options. To go through the painful process of growth and self-discovery and have nothing to show for it seemed inconceivable, but on the other hand, I was not ready to be alone.
While in the midst of this personal dilemma, I made plans to have friends over for dinner. It was set to be an unremarkable evening, with casual conversation and good food. And it did start out that way until I took a chance and brought up one of my niche interests (which I’ll hopefully be telling you more about in the next few weeks), only to discover that these friends shared the same interest. We spent hours talking about it and for the first time in a while, my heart didn’t feel as if it was sitting in my throat. I didn’t know that something as small as not feeling alone could have such a massive impact on my your life.
I still feel a little strange in my skin but sometimes it helps me to think that maybe there are people in my life I have more in common with than I think. I think a lot of people are still hiding. Sometimes all we need is a little nudge and a smile of encouragement to coax us out of our shells.