Growing up in a society that rewards extroversion and large group teamwork was not easy for a shy girl like me. I was the quiet one that knew the answers but didn’t raise my hand in class. When we were divided into groups I found it difficult to express my opinions and usually went along with what my group wanted, even though I never quite agreed. During recess, instead of playing four square and climbing the monkey bars with the other kids, I would find a corner of the playground and lose myself in books. I read everything. Fantasy, mystery, sci-fi, historical fiction, and more. How wonderful it was to travel to other worlds in between the monotony of lesson plans!
Sometimes I would come to small epiphanies about myself. The playground attendants would come over every so often and ask if I was okay and if I wanted them to introduce me to other kids. I was different. How odd to see an eight year old little girl sitting under a tree by herself with a book day after day for most recesses of the year.
Over the years I’ve learned to fit in a little more. I’ve found my voice and do speak when necessary. But I still prefer to sit in the background among people. The perfect stimulation for my mind is reading or observing people. I made peace with my personality awhile ago, and resigned myself to the fact that I am simply (and wonderfully) odd.
I was working out in the gym the other day and casually listening to Pandora Radio when a song came on. “Belle” from Beauty and the Beast. As I listened to the lyrics I realized…this is me! I am strange and peculiar! Who knew that Belle was the same way? I thought, “A Disney princess, so adored and known by millions out there, is a little peculiar too. How wonderful to know.”
I’ve listened to this song about thirty times since finding it last week.