Underneath my yellow skin

Beyond freaks and geeks

Oh, you think the darkness is your ally, you merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn’t see the light until I was already a man; by then, it was nothing to me but blinding! The shadows betray you, because they belong to me. I will show you where I have made my home, I will be preparing to bring justice.

–Bane

I was born a weirdo, and I’m comfortable living on the fringe. Hell, more than comfortable–I thrive on the edges. I’ve never been a normie, even though I’ve tried hard to fit in. I wore a powder blue sweater for my senior picture, had feathered bangs, and wore makeup. Whenever I think about it or see a copy, I stare in wonder. Who was that girl, and how did I know her? When I spent a year abroad in Asia, I quit doing all the girly things I had started doing just because I felt I should. I stopped shaving my legs and armpits–I didn’t really need to especially since as a Taiwanese American person, I didn’t have much hair. I cut my hair short so I didn’t have to deal with it (and because it was too damn hot for my usual mop), and I stopped wearing makeup because it just melted off my face in a hot second, anyway.

I felt much more myself once I stripped away all that shit. I still wore earrings, but no other jewelry, and my style of dress was lackadaisical at best. In Thailand, I had someone tell me I looked like a gratui, which is a boy who dresses/looks like a girl.  It was said with a laugh and no intention of malice, but it stung. I had enough issues with my own femininity; I didn’t need other people questioning it as well. I never felt like I was enough of a woman, though to be clear, I didn’t feel like a man, either. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a boy so badly, I would pray to God to make me a boy. I mean, hey, He created the world, right? So making me a boy shouldn’t be any big thing for Him. It never happened, and I woke up every minute feeling bitterly disappointed. Again, I want to stress that I did not want to be a boy; I just didn’t want to be a girl. To me, I saw how much better it was to be a boy (in both of my cultures), and I was like, “Sign me up.”



In addition, I didn’t want to be Asian. Again, I didn’t want to be white per se, but I wanted to not be ‘other’. I wanted to fit in, and I wanted to not be made fun up when I brought ‘weird’ food to school for lunch. I got teased for so many reasons, it made me withdraw into myself. When I was in high school, I was an outsider–partly because of me, but mostly because of who I was and where I was. I got along with kids from all different groups, but I didn’t belong anywhere. I remember one guy from the ‘druggie’ crowd who was in my math class. We chatted, and he would tell me about the parties he went to. I jokingly said I should go one time (I never would back then), and he gave me a hard look and said, “No.” Not because he didn’t want me there, but because he was trying to protect me. He knew I wouldn’t fit in, and he was trying to shield me from that.

This is the story of my life. I can get along with all kinds of different people, but I don’t really feel comfortable with many. I’m fortunate now in that all my friends are fringe in their own way, and I work for myself. I read Ask a Manager, and while it’s vastly entertaining to me, it seems like an alien culture to me (the office culture). WhenI have to be around normies for a prolonged amount of time, I feel as if there is a dullness wrapped around me. All the sharp edges are carefully buffed away, and what’s left is a empty shell. Well, to be more precise, it’s not so much an empty shell as it is a careful veneer.

I feel like an alien, honestly, when I’m with normies. I’m constantly monitoring what I say and do to make sure that nothing untoward escapes from my lips. I swear freely in my regular life, though, weirdly enough, not as much vocally as I do in my writing, and I have to watch it fiercely when I’m with people who don’t swear/are offended by swearing. I talk about sex openly as well, which is another thing I curb when I’m talking to normies. While there might be normies who talk about sex, I’m pretty certain it won’t be in the same manner as I do.

It’s depressing, really. Even with something as simple as the fact that I hate weather over 70 is something I keep hidden from normies. Am I having authentic interactions with normies if I’m hiding so much of myself? No, I’m not. I’ve resigned myself to that, and I’ve mostly made my peace with it, but it can feel lonely at times. Going through life without a real moment on the daily. That’s why I’m grateful that I have people in my life who are also freaks and geeks. I can relax with them in a way I can’t in the real world, but I sometimes have the opposite problem hanging with weirdos. I’m not a normie by far, but I’m also not that much of a freak or a geek. Once again, I don’t fit in anywhere, which is sad to me.

I’m not normal by any stretch of the imagination, but with popular culture, I’m not that fringe, either. I’m not into noise music or most experimental music, art films in general make me yawn, and I prefer genre to literature much of the time. In other words, when it comes to pop culture, I’m not a freak or a geek at all. However, I’m not into mainstream pop culture, either. This is a common problem for me–I just don’t fit anywhere. I’m sure it’s partly because of my contrary nature, but it’s also just the way I think. I tend to see several sides to any issue, and it’s frustrating trying to explain this to people who only see things in black and white.

This is one reason I’m paring back on my social media consumption, especially Twitter. I think it’s the format, but it simply doesn’t lend itself to a thoughtful discussion. It’s more possible on FB, but it ends up being lengthy dual monologues rather than a dialogue. I don’t know what the answer is or if there is any answer. Mostly, I’m just venting because it’s a lonely place to be in sometimes. Again, most of the time, I’m fine with it. However, sometimes, it makes me wish I could be more normal. Fortunately, it’s not very often.

 

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