I'm 99.9% positive I've referred to this quote before but I'm going to reiterate it here. Great movie if you appreciate sarcastic / ironic type of humor, Cat Ballou, in which occurs the quote "I'm not running a dude ranch for misfits and unemployables!" Most of the time I feel as if that's exactly what I'm running with myself included in the category...
Lately it has struck me with great force how little I fit in - anywhere. See if some of you nerdy types out there feel a chord struck on this one. Or maybe some of you not so nerdy types with different issues. I cannot think of a single time or place that I have really fit in. I have a couple of really good friends that are the closest to me and with whom I feel most comfortable but there's even a disconnect with them. When I recently examined my friends I was also struck with intense irony. I think that most people surround themselves with people that are similar to them. My friends are extremely varied and many are not at all like me. We usually have some area in common that served as our meeting ground but then we diverge in the extreme. (Or maybe I truly do have multiple personalities and each friend represents a facet of me. Now there's a scary thought...)
In my quest for honesty, I'm gonna bluntly say some things that I usually wouldn't say. My IQ is a great deal higher than my family's. I've always had a difficult time communicating with the family because we view things so differently. They are generally prejudiced against new ideas; I like new ideas. I like to explore things and view new ideas as a challenge to be questioned and explored while they look on new ideas (or things) with fear and reject them out of hand. I also have always had a hard time finding common ground to spend time with the family. They like senseless, non-stimulating entertainment. Mindless television shows and such. I like intellectual, quiet pursuits such as reading or challenging board games (Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit for example) and have no problem with spending time together with people I like in utter silence, just enjoying the company. My family gets nervous in silence. They then use their super-sensitive feelings and ability to hold grudges and begin to formulate theories as to who is mad and why, all because one is not speaking. It can't be normal; the silent person must be angry. I like to try new things; they condemn new things without trial. It's like a lynch mob performing a hanging without the benefit of a just trial by jury.
As a child, I grew up quickly and started taking on adult responsibilities at a very young age. One result of this is that I've never really gotten along well with people of the same age / peer group. It was difficult to relate to people worrying over whether Joe wrote "I love you" on a note passed around class when you were thinking about the financial situation of your family and whether the bills would be paid this month or not. It was also extremely difficult for me to understand the lack of interest in learning. Kids trying to get out of class and not doing assignments puzzled the stew out of me. I loved to learn and was reading books well beyond my age group even as early as first grade. I know I was a challenge for teachers with my endless questions and boredom with the age appropriate material.
This didn't improve with age. While I have a couple of close friends that I made in high school, there was still always such a disconnect. I had a hard time understanding their struggles with classwork that bored me. It was also difficult because they were intimidated by my grades. Being shy, introverted, and smart made friends hard to come by and considering I had an entirely different area of interests than having boyfriends and going to parties, etc. only complicated the matter further. Undergrad years were spent mostly in my own little world. I made a few "acquaintances" with whom I worked on some group projects but no real close friends although I met Can't Spell during that time. I lived at home and commuted to class (a 10-15 minute drive.) I scheduled my classes at unfashionable hours like 7:30 a.m. and worked 30-35 hours a week in addition to taking care of the herd and the house and cooking, etc. I'm not real sure how I stretched the time so now; must have had more energy being younger. As you can see, the schedule was not conducive to relationship building.
Vet school was much the same. I'm just not a joiner or a partier; not my cup of tea. I find myself still in the same boat. There are just so few people with whom I really want to connect. Oh, I have friends, it's just that they are friends at a distance. Not really people to whom I'm inclined to open up and invite into the deep dark recesses of my mind. And even if I were, not people who would understand or be comfortable there. Sometimes I'm not so sure that my closest friends are comfortable with delving into that region. Sometimes, I find it a little scary myself!
It also struck me while listening to a comedian play up the stereotypical differences in male and female thinking that I don't even fit in there. He said that men compartmentalize everything in boxes that aren't allowed to touch or interact while women have an information superhighway made of a wire that connects everything. I'm neither but both. I tend to compartmentalize but connect. And when he was making fun of the way women continue talking even when it would be impossible to be heard yet expect their mate to hear (i.e. head inside dryer or in another room), I related to the male rather than the female. I think I have a general tendency to think more in a stereotypical male fashion but understand female-ese fairly well. This is probably the reason I generally learn better from male teachers. I've never understood the hothouse of female emotionalism and stabbing in the back. Honestly, if I have a problem with you, I'd rather take it out back and just fight it out then be done with it.
While I'm discussing my dysfunctional self, I'm also going to share another aspect. I have always thought that I was so extremely fat until recently. It was perpetrated by the fact that most of the women in my family are tall and very thin. You know the type, not too many curves and rarely have to worry about gaining. My mother looked like Linda Carter of Wonder Woman fame with a bit less curve in her younger days. I'm an oddball. I'm shorter than most of my family and came with curves. Because I wasn't built like them, I thought I was fat and they added to my poor self-image by talking about how "heavy" I was. I was looking at some old photos and it suddenly struck me; I wasn't fat at all back then, I was just built different. Yes, I've always struggled to keep my weight in check but I wasn't fat. Wish someone had told me that back when... Now I am in part because I thought I already was.
So there. I've told many deep dark secrets about myself all started because of delving into old photos, listening to a comedian, thinking about some old friends, and talking to a family member who I've not talked to in a while. Scary what little, unrelated events can set into motion isn't it?
4 days ago