bdayMy friends are weirdoes.  They are the best kind too.  They care about the people they love, but honestly, growing up, never cared too much about the rest.

I was 12, kinda pretty, and outwardly privileged.  Outwardly, because the truth was, we were struggling to pay the bills.  I had two parents, with only one job, and two pairs of good jeans (worn every other day, hoping to keep up appearances).

Who would notice?  I was new to the school.  For once I hoped I would fade into the background, at least until I had a game plan, some kind of offense I could throw at the defense I saw coming at me, fast.

And it did. I was picked on, isolated, mocked, and provoked… I was kicked off the school bus for fighting back – and damn I knew better.  They just kept coming.  They came at me, my sister, my family… simply because we were new.  What the hell was wrong with these people?

So my mother drove me to school.  It was on her way to work after all.  She dropped me off and surely prayed for my safety the rest of the way to the hospital, where she was, and still is, the best nurse they ever had.

How did this blog start?  I was reminded earlier, once again, of my weirdness, by posting something disgustingly ridiculous on a grade school friend’s Facebook page.  He is someone I knew, at age four, that I haven’t see for decades but still consider family, and someone who actually knows me for who I truly am.

We made it.  We made through youth, puberty, transition, struggle and the appearance of perfection to the rest of the world.

I always managed to find myself with like kind.  I don’t think we consciously tried, but ultimately found ourselves drawn to one another, because we needed each other to survive.

I find that I still do that today.  I have moved over 30 times, had 60 jobs, ‘mumble mumble relationships’, to find myself in places where I am still drawn to the misfits, the oddballs and the simply ‘not like everyone else’s’.

I relish the moments that it hits me, how weird we are, how glorious, different, and unencumbered by the status quo we all seem to remain.  I am so lucky to have you, each and every one of you, to keep me honest, unique and unaffected by expectations that continue to grow, even stronger, into adulthood.  You are my rock – my misshapen, awkwardly weighted, sometimes heavy and sometimes floating rock.

Without you, I would be still be a weirdo, but I would have gone it alone and it surely wouldn’t have been half as memorable and half as much fun.