For a long time, words were my only medium. Written words, that is. I was the kind of girl who melted into the wallpaper, became as significant in a room as a piece of furniture. I dedicated myself to napkins, pages ripped from notebooks, thesauruses, the space between a period and the next capital letter. I spoke to no one. I found idle chatter to be almost blasphemy, and so I kept my words to myself, cupped in the palm of my hand, wanting them to be meaningful where I couldn’t be.
It took me a while to realize that my behavior was, in a way, ridiculous. However much contempt, disdain and general dislike I had for mainstream society, however much I wished to distance myself from it, the fact of the matter was that I was a part of it. My interests were never those of the whole and, in a system where the majority was the biggest player, I had to keep things other than me in thought.
I wasn’t being selfless, really. And I’m not being self-effacing now. You don’t have to give your personality up to be like everyone else. Everyone wants to make a “difference” in the world, however big or small, am I right? Direct a film, write a cult classic novel, convert a 1900’s steel conglomerate warehouse into an orphanage – or maybe just hug more often, or remember birthdays.
The truth of the matter is that you cannot do these things alone. Seriously, guys, you have no idea how long it took me to reach this conclusion. I am the quintessiantial loner, the quiet girl with a secret riot inside. I was independent, and I adored it. But however much I prided myself on not forming part of the status quo or being “different” (which is subjective, and thus I cannot understand why I ever described myself this way) – I need them, too. However much it cost me to admit it.
This is why I cannot understand non-conformists. Yes, you can do incredible things, all on your own, yes, you are someone incredible, someone unique. But you need everyone else, and you can’t do it all on your own.
I can still be indepedent. I can still do things – big or small. But I will need you, someday, somehow. Isolating myself will not do me any good, and it will only harm any prospective dreams I may have. Seems like such a simple thing, right? So easy to understand.
Took me fourteen years, ladies and gentlemen to get it. No wonder my mother says I’m so dense.
Oh la la, you are such a great writer. This reminded me of a quote by Bobby Kennedy- “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.”
We all need each other though. =)
What you have realized now will change again. You will go through many self-realizations and it is never done. That’s what life is all about. Continuing to grow, doubt, self-examine, doubt again, feel comfortable, then uncomfortable. Sorry I don’t have better news for you.
It is exciting, though, to rediscover something about yourself. I hope that never stops for me or for you. 🙂
It’s true. All the little freaks eventually have to realize that NO ONE is an island, no matter how wounded or special we think we are. 🙂
Life isn’t about these realizations for everyone. Which totally makes you special.
And that comment about your Dad during your Mom’s labour? PRICELESS. 😛