For a very long time, I was a square peg forever jumping into round holes. I devoted a lot of time trying to be who I thought people wanted me to be, trying to fit in. Now I have a freak flag.
Wearing a mask is like trying to squeeze into pantyhose that are a size too small. You can make it work, but it’s not comfortable and before the end of the night you’ve got a run up the back of your leg.
Did you watch The Family Stone? A Christmas romantic comedy starring Claire Danes, Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane Keaton, Luke Wilson, Rachel McAdams and others. There’s a scene with Luke Wilson and Sarah Jessica Parker in a bar and she’s a little drunk. Her control-freak-straight-laced-self is exasperated – tired of trying to please her boyfriend’s family. Luke Wilson says, “It’s exhausting trying to keep that lid screwed on so tight…You have a freak flag. You just don’t fly it.”
Do you have a freak flag? *raises hand* I do!
It’s taken me a very long time, some counseling, a lot of mask-wearing, fake civility, and a good deal of soul searching to be comfortable in my own skin. To learn who are you are, what kind of person you want to be, and what to do with the time given you is a gut-wrenching, soul-searching, head-banging, journey – and one I’m convinced you never stop taking. But, it gets easier as long as you’re honest with yourself.
I know who I am, and who I’m not. I refuse to feel bad about that. Does that mean I callously flaunt my freedoms in people’s faces? No. But don’t try and make me feel guilty either. With me, what you see is what you get. I don’t pretend. I wasted too many years trying to fit into groups and cliques who didn’t want me around no matter what I said or did or wore, to hang around when I’m not wanted.
You know why I like vampires and werewolf stories? (I actually get asked to explain this quite a bit) It’s because they’re kinda like me. No, I don’t feast on human flesh, and a full moon does not reveal a furry side – but like them, I don’t fit in. People always know there’s something a little off about that Dracula guy – they just can’t put their finger on what.
Vamps and weres don’t deny what they are either (unless you’re a vampire in Twilight). I get these guys. They don’t fit, and it doesn’t matter how good they are at looking like everyone else, copying everyone else, at the end of the day they’re different.
Is different bad? Depends. If you’re different because you have a penchant for eating human flesh – sure, there’s some issues there that should probably get worked out. But if you’re different because you’re always the only introvert in a crowd of extraverts that’s not bad, though it can be excruciating. Being an introvert isn’t bad or wrong, it’s just how you fit in the world.
I’m often accused of being snobbish. I don’t think that’s fair. I’m quiet – super quiet, and shy. I don’t offer my opinions unsolicited, join in what I see as meaningless chitchat, or do superficial very well. I’m guarded at times, that’s another blog post, but keeping my thoughts to myself doesn’t make me a snob or standoffish – it does make me observant, reserved, and introspective. And as long as I’m OK with that, I’m going to wave my freak flag and stop caring what other people say.
Are you misunderstood? Is there something about you that people just don’t get? Wave your freak flag proudly and share your story in the comments.
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“It would be different if one had tried to tell the whole truth. That would have some value.” – Ernest Hemingway
“A woman is like a teabag – you never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” Eleanor Roosevelt