I have always been the odd one in any group, during the very few times I actually belonged to one, or at least thought I did.
I grew to realise I did better with one or two very close friends, or at most a very very small group with two or three other people.
While this is fine and I eventually grew to accept this, sometimes, I admit that it gets to me when I would think I have become part of something, only to realise that there are cliques, sometimes way too many, inside it, that it would almost feel odd that I did not even make it to any one of them, not even the smaller, or smallest ones. That, or the supposed clique included practically a large number of the main group, including the few ones extremely close to me, and yet somehow, there is always this invisible wall that I always ended up bumping into.
Is there a secret door I missed, or perhaps a password that failed to reach me? Or perhaps have I been unknowingly wearing a sign that said groups are unwelcome? Did my eyebrows do that unconscious thing again? Has it been my too-manly-for-a-lady-yet-too-weak-for-a-man sound and tone of voice? Is it my bitchy resting face? Does my occasionally unnerving oddness show more than I want it to? Or worse, are the gears in my head actually audible to others?
I can be painfully introverted, but I can be the most genki person in the room if not put on the spot and if people did not act so warily around me. As if letting me in is like opening a can of weird.
I admit that part of my strangeness, which I have grown to be unapologetic about, is that I get so drained when there are many people around, even more so when I have to interact or when highly expected to mask over this face I cannot do anything about. But it does not mean I do not want to join even for five whole seconds. It's not you. It's really just me.
I have grown accustomed to how things are, though. Then, when I have to, when I really really have to mingle even though all the cliques around me are just being polite while being wary, I just make sure I do not forget to breathe.
In any case, I do have a group now. We do not always get together for things and sometimes we just read books quietly by ourselves, or write in journals or paint quietly in groups. We are quiet most of the time, and on occasions when we do have heated discussions, I am actually comfortable enough to speak up and tell them to stop and breathe and think.
They are a quiet lot, but I discovered them when I embraced the reality that it is not so bad to be unwelcome to other cliques and that it is not anyone's fault why they may find me a bit too odd or unsettling or not clique-kind-of-great enough.
I am aware that talking about this group just added layers of weird and unwelcome, but I guess this is how it also helps me recognise and appreciate a person when he or she actually gets past that weird and sees me for the normalest person that I actually am.
So there, a painting of myselves, called "I Have A Group Too." And the above is a screenshot of a portion of my Google+ page which I rarely visit and when I did the last time, I just had to use that image and fill in those details.
In this clique, you are welcome. You may feel left out, but you aren't. This clique is candid and caring and maybe sometimes creepy, but here, we will all embrace you.
Unless of course, you do anything to Drain or Drag. Otherwise, it is warm and nice. Maybe unsettlingly quiet, but no one is requiring you to fill in the silences. As long as of course, you are comfortable.