What I'm about to write will resonate with many of you. It will surprise some of you and hopefully, it will encourage a few of you as well.
For much of my life, I have felt like a... weirdo.
There. I said it. Not all the time... but often. In a range of situations and settings and for a range of reasons.
Even as a moderately successful business owner, speaker, writer, etc. I still regularly feel out of place and like I don't belong or really fit in. Please still love me. Not in a weird, sad or tragic "I'm gonna build a space ship in my yard and fly off and see my brothers from the planet Zebulon" kinda way — no, more a "I feel different, think different, behave different and am different" kinda way.
Not better, just different.
While all the other 'normal' kids were ploughing up and down the pool with their skinny ten-year-old bodies, I was splashing around in my big-ass T-shirt, to hide my numerous rolls. Knowing that they would never realise that I was obese if I was wearing my magic 'fat-hiding T-shirt'. Of course.
And when all my buddies were discovering alcohol at sixteen, getting wasted, falling down, getting up again and thinking they were manly and hilarious, I didn't really 'get it.'
At all. I was the only one who didn't drink. Weirdo.
I never started. Never had a glass of alcohol. Tasted it, but hated it. Never been drunk to this day. Double weirdo. Even when I go to a social function now, I'm often the only person in the whole place not drinking. People tell me I'm missing out. Oh well. A chance I'm prepared to take.
While all my friends were buying highly-modified cars that they couldn't afford, smoking the tyres, racing each other to the next set of lights and exploring their alpha-male-ness (okay, stupidity), I didn't get that either. At all. And when I went back to college at thirty-five (after a brief seventeen-year absence) I felt like a complete weirdo.