You walk into the school and feel like everyone is staring at you. Cliques are forming before people even know each other. Cool people flock together, smokers naturally gravitate towards each other, and the sporty people find each other outside on the field. And you just feel like you’ve entered another world.
They say everyone feels weird in high school. And maybe they do. Some of us tend to fall out of the crowd a little more than others, though. And not just in high school. Replace school with office, social clubs, or even just bars, and you can describe a specific group of adults too. Every one of these situations feels like being back in high school: like you accidentally stumbled into the wrong room, and now you can’t leave.
If you are one of those people, congratulations, you officially belong to the group of the most interesting people I know. It took me a long time to find those people and to realise there’s a whole bunch of cool people out there that the cool people don’t think are cool. And in this case, the internet is your friends.
I used to be one of those people that didn’t fit in. I still am one of those people. The kind that prefers books over people. Has a better connection with dogs than most humans and can speak nerd better than hold a socially accepted conversation. I find it hard to meet the parents because I always say the wrong thing. Always. I make inappropriate jokes. Mostly involving a penis. I curse, and my favourite night is at home, playing old school records while reading an actual paper book. And apart from writing and hiding behind the camera, my hobby is rock climbing. Bouldering to be exact. For someone who grew up hating sports and all athletic types, this came as a shock to me. But nothing can cheer my up as a good bouldering session does.
Then let me tell you. You are perfectly normal. Although we’ve been conditioned to have to conform to society and fit in, it’s not the case for everyone. And they will tell you that you have to fit in. That you have to wear blue jeans, because that’s what normal people do. That you have to get that 9 to 5 because that’s what everyone does, so you can get a mortgage, get married, have children and commute to a job every day that you secretly dislike, just like everyone else. And then one day, you’ll find yourself on that train platform, looking around you and realise you have become just like everyone else — the same blue jeans, semi-casual shoes, and with the same haircut.
That doesn’t have to be you. You are fine the way you are. You can love books more than social groups; you are not crazy for hating blue jeans, your love for old school records is perfectly normal because guess what. All the best people are weird. I think Lewis Carroll said it best:
“You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”
And guess what. You are not alone. I have met my best friends through the internet. And they are all a little weird in one way or the other. And that really is the best thing to be.