I figure most of us wonder at some point or another what our purpose is, what our place is. Where do we stand, in the grand scheme of things – as well as in the smaller picture.
I was thinking about this today, just idly considering other people’s reactions to me, and I think that my position is pretty firmly in “peripheral whackadoo”.
Now, let me explain what this means.
When I’m part of a group, be it a workplace team or family gathering, a message board, whatever…I’m not the glue. I’m not the leader, not a person who would keep anyone coming back for more. That’s just not me.
I don’t think I’d want it to be me – too much pressure. I’m not an entertainer. Ask anyone who comes to my house – I’m a crappy host. If I remember to tell you which hall door leads to the bathroom, I’m doing good.
What I am, well, I’m the one off to the side with the one-liners or odd story. If I leave the party, or the chat, or whatever, everything will continue on. At some point later, someone might say, Hey, remember whatsername? She was a whackadoo.
It won’t be malicious or mean-spirited or condescending, just a fact. I’m not “weird”, not shocking on purpose, but it seems like the things that I like and do aren’t usually in line with the people in my immediate vicinity. What’s more, the people in the world who do like some of the same things I do…well, I usually don’t enjoy hanging around with them. Maybe because I like unique stories? I don’t need to hear your chicken stories, I have my own. But you have cow stories, or husband stories or car stories, those will interest me. Same thing with cats. Don’t tell me about your cats, I have plenty and they are cuter.
But put me in a group of people in the usual course of things, and they don’t have chickens or 800 cats, so my stories are just…a little…off.
So I guess it’s true what they say, Location Location Location. It’s all about where you are when you say it. I say “G7″ in front of people who are thinking “coffee”, and it’s a little off. I say “Lad Nah” in front of people who are thinking “pizza” and it’s a little off. I say “Zojirushi” when they are thinking “Black & Decker”.
So I’m a little off – but only compared to the people around me. And with any luck, someone might remember what I said, not just that it was “off”, and learn something they might not have otherwise. That would be cool.