Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Living on the Edge

Most of my life, I have felt like I didn't quite belong. My brothers must have picked up on this and would always tell me that I wasn't really their sister. That my real family was the crazy family who lived next door and Mom and Dad felt sorry for me and adopted me. Somehow this made sense to me. I was so much younger than my siblings. I was always on the outside of whatever they were doing...watching and waiting until I was old enough to play too. Of course, by the time I was old enough for that game, they had moved on to a new one. I was never quite part of the team.

My parents were much older and I went to cocktail parties and meetings where I sat in the dens and family rooms of other families, watching television or reading while the world went on on the other side of the door. There, but just on the edge. Waiting and watching.

For a time, I thought I had found my place. The theatre seemed to be a gathering place for the odd, the strange, the eccentric, the ones on the edge. But even here, I was too extreme, too intellectual, too political, too feminist, too much for the outsiders. I wanted to do art that spoke to me...not to a foundation, a fund, or a board of directors. I was edgy, but it wasn't the right kind of edge.

So now, here I am, nearly 50 years old, and I've realized that I will always be just a bit outside of the rest of the world. It's not that I don't have "normal" life activities. I have a job, sometimes very busy and hectic and exciting, mostly very routine and ordinary. I have friends with whom I work and play. We laugh and talk and share and enjoy. I have wonderful family who invite me to parties and holidays and we celebrate our common unity. But I always feel just a little outside of where they are. My thoughts are just a bit off from theirs. My dreams are just a bit different. My passions are just a little odd.

I think these people who choose to be with me and have me in their world truly love me. I can tell that they do. But there's also a sense that part of my appeal to them is my slight eccentricity. Even my therapist says he loves to talk to me because I make him laugh and I see things in such an interesting way.

Do I mind it out here? No. I've tried to conform and it really doesn't work for me. Do I wish I wasn't always alone? Of course I do, but I've accepted the idea that there just isn't a way for me to be with someone all the time. I'm too much work. Sometimes I'm even too much for myself. But I'm finding my way out here. Stop by and visit sometime. I love company.


Bridgete said...

Alright, enough knocking on yourself, no one thinks you loved the ugly duckling because you were "the fat girl with glasses." I loved that story too, although I can't remember if it was my favorite or not. I think even then I didn't pick just one favorite because I never could choose just one. But anyway, it was certainly up there and as you and I both agree I was an adorable child and skinny with no glasses, that can't be the reason. And you could have written this entire post without slipping in that self-deprecating jab.

So, no more little jabs at yourself. To be completely honest, those little jabs are the ONLY thing - truly, honestly, the one and only thing - you do that I don't like. Because you are wonderful, passionate, beautiful, loving, caring, kind, comforting, and all around fabulous and you are the only person that forgets to see that.

And yes, maybe your oddness is part of what people love about you. I guess it's part of what I love about you. But, as another oddie myself, I have to say, would you want it any other way? Do you really want to be like everyone else? Wouldn't that be just eternally boring?

I'm glad to see that you're embracing the oddness. But don't let it be a way to keep yourself on the outside. Let it be the key to making yourself memorable, making yourself one of a kind, and making yourself the one person that's truly hard to let go of because no one can ever find another you. True, there will be those that can't embrace the oddness. But that's because they're too normal and therefore boring. You want to find the other oddies. They're the best ones anyway. And then you can find unity in the oddness, even if your oddities take different forms.

P.S. - As a lawyer in mind, if not on paper, I am now allowed to make up words (which lawyers do all the time) so "oddie" is my first invention. You have my permission to take it and use it and encourage its growth. And if it ends up in the dictionary, we will use this comment to prove that I should be credited with its invention.

Love you.

KC McAuley said...

Bridgete is absolutely right. I am too quick to see my faults and it's people like her, who love me very much, that I rely on to remind me of who I am. So I edited my original post and took out the Ugly Duckling. I'm not a duckling or a swan. At least I don't think I am. I'm not sure what I am, but I do know I'm a fabulous whatever it is. Thank you my Bridgete.