Once upon a time, there was a girl who lived in Idaho in kind of the middle of nowhere. Kind of the middle of nowhere had a lot of advantages. It was really pretty, for one thing, with a beautiful mountain outside the window. But the girl did not fit in. Her geekitude was not appreciated. At. All.
Okay, no more fairytales. It’s a story I’m sure many of you can appreicate, as I’m sure many of you have the same start to your fairytale. I was an outcast for most of my growing up. I flitted from friend group to friend group, but I never really had my Anne of Green Gables dream ‘bosom friend’ (I forever looked for my Diana to match with my Anne). I also grew up in a place where there was a majority, very insulated religion… I was not in that majority so I’m sure that sort of added to the normal teen angst.
At the time, it was pretty bleak. I felt sad a lot. I felt lonely a lot. I wished for time to pass faster. I wished to wake up anywhere but in my own skin. But eventually, as they always say… it got better. I went to college, I became more comfortable with myself. I married my husband (best thing to come out of high school BY FAR) and I moved away and basically just created my real life.
My Mom has often said to me that she wishes we hadn’t lived in my little hometown. That maybe in a bigger place, with a more diverse population, I could have found that ‘bosom friend’ and had an easier time (certainly my brother had it far worse than I did). But here’s the thing: I’m GLAD things were the way they were. I think being in a situation where I was the outcast made me more sensitive to people who are different. I hope that makes me nicer.
It also forced me to find ways to entertain me. Like by writing or studying or thinking about why Frankenstein’s Monster might be part of a support group in the city. Those bad days shaped me into who I am. I couldn’t change them without changing me. And I wouldn’t want that. I kind of like me.
Now will I be heading home to my twenty-year reunion (next year, GAWD) and thank all those douches who now think we were friends? Um. NO. I’ll skip that thanks. But as for change it? Not that either.
So how about you other high school outcasts? Would you change it if you could?