On being the eternal misfit

Posted on December 30, 2013

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It doesn’t suck entirely.

I’m one of those people who just know that they will never belong anywhere. OK, I know what you’re thinking: “oh look, another poor-little-middle-class girl whining about not fitting in because she’s obviously going through the lonely-special-snowflake phase”. Yes, I’ve thought about that. All my life I’ve always contemplated on whether or not it’s OK to be this weird – if there are other kids that are just as weird as me. I’ve always been confused as to whether or not this is simply a phase, that I’ll just grow out of it sometime in the future – just like what happened with my jeje phase. Now I’m almost two decades old and I’m afraid I haven’t grown out of being the weirdo misfit. I’m afraid this could be a permanent thing. I may grow out of “hELL0 pf0ezXs” but I might not grow out of obscure references and social awkwardness. I jump from group to group and still feel so lonely and different. I don’t think I’ll ever find where I belong.

Let me discuss first what it was like growing up a weirdo in this place. It was not fun. I grew up in the kind of neighborhood where being different raises a lot of eyebrows. This was brought about by ignorance, probably. But I think every place is like that – being different means being singled out. Whatever. I guess a lot of us have experienced growing up in a place they hate, right?

Anyway, this wasn’t a friendly neighborhood. For me. I was the kind of kid who always had the wrong kind of hair, the wrong kind of clothes, the wrong kind of hobbies, the wrong kind of everything. I looked a bit different and I did things differently. I didn’t have a lot of friends at school. I was ridiculously shy and quiet. I was never popular. I brought books to school because reading was sort of my escape. The library was my haven.

Sometimes I get sent to the guidance counselor for reasons I never really knew. Probably because I was too quiet? I don’t know. People probably thought there was something wrong with me when I was little. I mean, I barely talked.

I’m not going to pretend that I wasn’t at least mildly bullied. You know what school kids are like. The quiet ones are the ones most likely to get picked on. To avoid that, I tried desperately to become bubbly and extroverted. I made myself believe that I was a firecracker. In my first year of college, my records even said that I’m an extrovert (ENTJ? I don’t remember). To sum it up, I was basically an introvert trying to be an extrovert. I was desperate to be like them. Nobody likes the strange, soft-spokened mellow-yellow girl.

I carried this “wallflower” syndrome up ’til today. Maybe not as severe as when I was younger, but still. It’s there. It’s me. I’m now studying in a university that prides itself in diversity and liberal thinking, but I still feel like a stranger. I’m always reluctant to form relationships with people, and adaptation skills can only get me so far. I go to places with different kinds of people and I get along well with them, but I still feel that it’s not enough. I find it hard to connect on a spiritual level. That sounds corny but it’s true.

There are some exceptions, of course. I have a ย handful of real friends who can hang out with me just talking about anything and spending moments of silence that isn’t awkward. But that’s exactly how many they are – a handful. And now I’m afraid that I’m getting even more reclusive to the point that they might not want to be with me anymore. I don’t want to lose them.

Weird and reclusive – that will always be me. I will always be the misfit. I will always feel like a stranger in every place I go, with every person I meet. I will always be that girl who tries to keep a conversation alive in a party and then suddenly figures out that it’s a lot better to just walk around the streets at night alone since nobody gets her anyway. I will always be like that kid from Almost Famous – he’s inside the rock star world, but he doesn’t belong there. He may have friends from the inside, but he still doesn’t belong there. Like Charlie from Perks of being a Wallflower. Or Holden Caulfield.ย I’m there, just not entirely.

This is the part where I’m supposed to tell you why being an outsider doesn’t entirely suck. A fresh perspective is a perk, I guess? I mean, I’m pretty good at pointing out what’s wrong with things. Probably because I always sit by the sidelines watching people knock themselves out. Also, I’m pretty good at getting all emo. “Misery Chick” is a look I can don effortlessly. Daria, April Ludgate, Wednesday Addams, and Lydia Deetz are my spirit animals.

If you can ever relate to me, if you’re also an outsider trying to fit in, please do tell me. We can not fit in together. Reclusive weirdos can get lonely from time to time, no matter how defensively they say that they hate everyone and would like to be left alone.

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