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Odd Man Out

For the better part of my life I have felt like I didn’t fit in.  Like I was on the outside looking in.  Even in my family I was the odd man out – mom had black hair, dad had black hair, sister had black hair, I was practically blonde.  On vacations people would always comment to my sister that it was so nice of her to bring her friend on vacation.  To which she would always reply, “She’s not my friend, she’s my sister!”  Kids are cute. I didn’t fit in at school either.  I was a very serious, introspective kid.  It was hard for me to cut loose and just have fun.  Carefree was rarely a part of my vocabulary.  But I had a couple of good friends, and thirteen excruciatingly long years later I graduated and was off to college.


Where I also didn’t fit in.  I was at the number one party school, and I didn’t really like to party.  Awkward!  I auditioned and was accepted into the BFA program where I would intensively study acting for three years with the same group of people . . . whom I didn’t fit in with.  It was an ongoing theme in my life and I had come to accept my place on the outskirts.  People tolerated my presence, and for their tolerance I made sure that I never over stayed my welcome.  I accepted that they didn’t necessarily want me around, but weren’t going to complain about it while I was there.  Here also I made a couple of close friends, and four rather quick years later (I kept myself so busy with productions the time flew) I graduated.

Enter the real world, and I found that I kept finding myself feeling the same way.  Different day, different scenario, same shit.  Until one day I realized that through out everything there was only one constant – me. Through all of these varied experiences and drastically different people the only thing that had stayed the same was my opinion of myself.  I felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere and therefore everywhere I went I didn’t fit in.  It was a self-fulfilling prophecy. A really crappy prophecy.

So I decided that since I had tried changing everything else, the only thing left to change was myself.  Which is harder than it sounds, let me tell ya!  But slowly, over many years I convinced myself that people did want me around.  And they wanted me around for me.  It also helped that I started to be able to recognize the people that didn’t actually want me around and I accepted that and moved on to find other people.  Problem solved, right?  Wrong.

I was out the other night with friends, and for whatever reason the next thing I knew my head was filled with all of those old thoughts.  They’re talking with each other not me, therefore they must not want me around.  We’re doing pictures and everyone has their arms around each other except me, so clearly they don’t want me around.  I was tacked on to the experience instead of being a part of the experience and I felt like crap. It was horrible!

And then I realized, that once more I was getting in the way of my own happiness.  I know for a fact that these friends like having me around, they’ve told me.  One of them expressed that exact feeling while we were out that night. And perhaps they were talking amongst themselves because I was reading my menu and not paying attention.  Perhaps nobody put their arm around me for the picture because I was hesitating on the outskirts like I wasn’t going to be in the picture and then tacked myself on last minute.  Maybe, just maybe, everybody else was wondering what was up with me and why I was being so sullen. Maybe I didn’t fit in, because I didn’t let myself.

Where did that come from?  Why did I all of a sudden transport myself back to the old Kat who hated her self? I don’t even know what caused the flashback, but there it was. I find it truly amazing how our bodies and our minds will hold on to things like that and all it takes is one trigger to open the door and transport you back.  Weird!  Too bad you can’t flip back to your present self as quickly.  Therefore for the foreseeable future I will be reminding myself on a regular basis that I’m pretty cool and people want me around – ala Stuart Smalley cause that makes me giggle.  So if you see me muttering to myself, never fear.  I’m no crazier than usual!