“I actually have Google searches where it’s like: How to be normal.”
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Transcript for I’m Me
There are times when I feel like I’m not really a part of any one thing. It feels just very like, people acknowledge me. I’ve often used the metaphor that, I’m like – I guess if I use “like,” it’s a simile – I’m like a puppy. I’m energetic, I’m kind of zany, and they just kind of pat my head in passing and they’re like, “Okay, calm down,” and they just keep going about their business.
People look at me and they think I’m kind of odd. I’ve always gotten that ever since I was elementary school age. I’m always been like “the weird one.” And that used to hurt a lot. I used to sit at home and think – I actually have Google searches where it’s like: “How to be normal,” “How to be liked,” “How to be” whatever.
I’ve grown to the point where it’s like, “I’m me, and those I attract are awesome and those I don’t attract, fine.” And it’s still not always easy, but I definitely don’t try to analyze why I don’t fit in, why it’s me versus them. There’s a million and one reasons, and it could be that I’m weird, but I’m okay with that.
Being sort of an outsider has actually worked to my benefit. First of all, I am studying journalism, so it helps if you’re not part of the thing. You have the ability to step outside and look at what’s going on and observe. And even more than journalism, I’m a writer primarily. I do poetry and short stories and, occasionally, creative non-fiction. So, it has been to my benefit to be able to sit in a room at a party and eavesdrop on conversations and listen to what people are saying and not exactly participate.
The first half of my life, thus far – I’m only 22 – the first half of that has been me thinking that there’s something wrong with me, that I’m this person that I shouldn’t be. I remember one of my friends said it best, when I was telling him – he was in one of my writing classes, he was a writer too – and, we were talking about our life experiences and some of the hard times we’ve gone through, and the loves that just haven’t worked out, and the friendships that have dissipated. And I was telling him the story of, like, all these crazy things that have happened to me and that I’ve gone through, and feeling like I don’t belong, or feeling like I’m othered, and, he looked at me and said, “I can tell you’re a great writer. I don’t even need to read your work, because you have a story and you have a background.” And I’ve tried to look at it like that since then where, every time something bad happens or every time I get hurt by somebody or I feel like I’m not part of something, I remind myself: This is all part of a huge, long story, and it’s your story. And you can either be upset about it or you can be proud of it and talk about, you know, “I overcame this because of this,” instead of “that happened and it sucked.”