Obedience School Dropout

I was a weird kid.

When girls my age were playing with dolls and listening to Mariah Carey, I was playing basement hockey and listening to Nirvana.
They wore floral prints and bows; I wore black and begged my mom for JNCOs. 
As they began experimenting with makeup, I was covered in dirt and still rocking backwards hats.  

I've never been afraid of being different.  My parents taught me from a young age to do what I want to do and resist peer pressure to fit in.  Fitting in is overrated.  You can fall in with a group who doesn't like you for who you really are.  You can lose your true self.  You don't get a chance to find what you truly enjoy.  Basically, you waste time, and time is the most precious resource that we have.  You don't get time back.  So why in the hell would you spend that precious, rare time with people who don't know or appreciate you?  Or waste it doing things that you don't enjoy?  We get so little free time because of all the responsibilities that we have, and I refuse to spend that free time pretending to enjoy Harry Styles or acting like I want to check out the newest bar.  Harry Styles sucks, and I hate bars.  I'll listen to Iron Maiden and watch basketball at home instead. 

I've always raised my freak flag high. 

I didn't like sleepovers. 
I would have my mom pick me up later in the night so I could sleep in my own bed. 

I never played with dolls unless it was to set their hair on fire and throw them in the fire pit. (True story)

I didn't join cheerleading despite the coach's best efforts. (Just because I weighed 90 pounds and could easily be thrown in the air - no, thanks.  Also, I don't trust these girls to catch me because most of them hate me.) 

At an 8th grade party, we played Spin the Bottle, and it was all fun until I was supposed to kiss a boy.  He leaned in, and I punched him in the face for making a move.  Oh, it was also a pool party, and I didn't get in the pool.  I wore jeans the whole time.  Fight me. 

It wasn't such a big deal in grade school.  I was an athlete, so that saved me from being excluded.  When I got to high school, it became more apparent that I would be on the outside.  Freshman year was a complete disaster.  I ate lunch in the bathroom because no one would let me sit at their table in the cafeteria.  I found a group that, as outlined above, wasn't good for me because we were all just a bunch of outcasts that were thrown together by the common thread of no one liking us.  Senior year wasn't as bad, but I got into a lot of fights.  I had a couple of friends, but I was still by myself for the most part.  The only thing saving me from being a complete loser was having an older boyfriend who was in college at that point, and he was well-liked when he was a student there.  Other students thought I was crazy because I was this short, little girl who had a big mouth that she used for yelling and swearing and I wasn't afraid to throw punches if threatened.  So people left me alone. 

By the time I got to college, I was so used to being a loner that I really didn't think about it.  I didn't have any friends during my first year, and then I got sick with the beginnings of my liver disease showing up.  

Once I felt better and started putting myself out there after the health issues subsided, something happened.  Something had changed. 

My weirdness was still weird, but I wasn't alone anymore.

There were others like me. 

I found people I could go to clubs with and dance with and party with and not feel weird at all about not drinking alcohol or doing drugs.  They could get shit-faced, and I would be the sober one, and we could all have a great time.  They didn't make fun of me.  They didn't judge me.  We all just danced and laughed and sang and had fun.

I found others who spent their free time lifting weights at the gym or running in the woods. 

I found guys who liked me for not being a girly girl and who appreciated my dark sense of humor.

Maybe I won't go so far as to say that my weirdness is celebrated, but my weirdness isn't judged harshly anymore.  

It's almost like ... people grew up. 

I'm 34 now.  
And I'm still weird as hell.
My music tastes are still living in the dirt rock and grunge eras.
I continue to wear backwards hats.
I play in the dirt when I run on trails.
I competed in powerlifting and still lift heavy weights and run long distances.
Baby showers and bridal showers are the worst things in the world for me, and I haven't worn a dress in 8 years, and I can't drink real coffee because it gives me the jitters and keeps me up at night so I have to drink decaf, and I snack on animal crackers and Eggo waffles, and I hate hugs ... 


You don't have to be afraid to show the world your true self.  You may find others like you, and that's cool as hell.  You may continue to be a bit of a loner, and that's cool, too.  Loners are rad people.  I am one, so I should know.

Create the person you want to be.  Someone you want to spend time with.  Because, if you haven't noticed, you spend a lot of time with yourself.  You may as well make it awesome. 

xoxo BB 


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