SoML: Odd One

I’ve had anthems of strength, empowerment, defiance and even a little sugary pop. But what about a song for the awkward, the misfits, the outcasts? Enter Odd One…

Odd one, I wish I was you

You’re never concerned with acceptance
We are all desperately seeking out
And fitting in with anyone who will accept us
But not you, odd one

Here’s the thing about me. I have never been able to be anything other than who I am. Even in school, where blending in might have made things easier, I was always me. Being myself wasn’t often ever the “in” thing and didn’t put me in the popular crowd. In some ways, a level of pretending might have made those awkward years a bit easier. I guess I was embracing the awkward even back then, long before I coined the phrase. I acted honestly not because I wanted to – it was just part of being me. I’m not built to fake it. Years later, I had classmates comment on their admiration for the way I was in those days, that I was always true to myself. It caught me by surprise not only that they’d noticed but also that they felt envious in retrospect. Being me certainly didn’t feel like an admirable position at the time. It was a hand I’d been dealt and I simply refused to fold.

When my divorce was final (or nearly there) I not only felt free to be me but, as a now confident 30-something woman, I wasn’t as concerned with what other people thought. I danced at shows until I looked like I’d been thrown off the pier. I expected I’d get wrinkled-nosed looks from 20-something queen bee types and I was OK with that. Again, to my surprise, I found myself being admired for my confidence and honesty. I had 20-somethings chat me up in the bathroom and say they wanted to be me when they grew up.

I danced like that while I was married, but it is different when you are at a show with your husband. It isn’t that I danced less, but it was mentally more contained somehow. Once, my ex confessed that he’d seen a bunch of college kids mimicking and mocking my dance moves behind my back and he’d felt upset and embarrassed for me. What struck me most about that wasn’t that someone had made fun of me. I’m accustomed to that. What stayed with me was that he felt sadness for me… not irritation or outrage at those kids. The summer of my divorce, my first really good date was with someone who was charmed by my penchant for dancing whenever there was music. Rather than being embarrassed of me or for me, he saw the enjoyment I felt and was drawn to it. After that date, I made a mental note that whoever I was with in the future would need to not only accept but also appreciate my dancing ways.

Aye, it’s gonna be okay
Aye, we’re gonna laugh at this one day

Don’t let someone tell you you’re no one
Don’t let someone tell you you’re no one
Odd one

When this song was still relatively new, I was at a show and saw this t-shirt for sale. I hesitated to buy it. At the time I was afraid it would only give people more reason to call me out for being different.

Being myself was one thing, doing something extra that might make me a target was another.

But I sucked up my uncertainty and bought it anyways. And wore it proudly. I decided to own the label rather than fear it. So much so that I asked the presenter to pose with the shirt when I attended a seminar with Dash (a fellow Odd One in Boxer form).

Posing in my Odd One t-shirt
Dog Trainer Extraordinaire Chad Mackin being a good sport for the photo.

I’ve been complimented on being “brave” and honest in the way I write and what I am able to share. Not everyone is comfortable baring their soul to the uncaring Interwebs. Or even to their extended circle of friends. There are some things I reserve for private, but not much. I put the majority of who I am and what I think right out in “public.” But again, that’s just me. For better or worse, I am an open book.

1 thought on “SoML: Odd One

  1. For better, Juj. You are a breath of fresh air and an inspiration – and I know you just can’t help it! At a K.D. Lang concert, someone yelled out, “You’re beautiful, K.D.!” And she smiled and said, ” I can’t help it.” That’s just the way some people are.

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