I noticed something today, something about my personality and life. It hearkens back to my infanthood. My parents often told me how “different” I was as a tot. I was so much so that over my crib they framed the famous “different drummer” poem. They said it suited me completely. That carried through to my childhood and into my teen years. I was observant, thoughtful, clever, civil, silly, creative, outgoing, imaginative, irreverent, optimistic, playful, and nerdy. In my twenties, an employer used a term I’d not heard anyone use before to describe me: maverick.
While chatting with a friend of mine at lunch today, things came together for me. We were talking about my past theatre and tv/film work and my present prospects. What hit me was that even when I’ve been on a creative team I was never really “in”. I mean I’ve never been part of the core of any group, even those groups I’ve founded or helped found. Whatever the group, I’m never completely included. That’s not to say I don’t have good or satisfying relationships with those involved. It’s that I don’t fit cliques. (I don’t use the term “clique” perjoratively there.) I have plenty of friends and good acquaintances. I’m just not “in”. The question then is: do I want to be?
Honestly, the answer is no. I would rather be “in” from project to project than “in” on the interim. I never had an interim back in the old days. Life always moved forward, no waiting. It’s taken a long time for me to get back to that. After a marriage spent always lamenting the past and dreading the future, it’s taken me a while to have this realization return. I’ve always been something of an outsider. Nothing was ever, or is, wrong with that. As a friend of mine likes to say, “It’s not a good thing or a bad thing. It’s just a thing.”
Everyone’s different somehow. You just have to find your niche, I reckon.