Yesterday on the NaNo forums, someone asked in the Character and Plot Realism forum why we didn't fit in during middle school. I thought about this, especially since I never really fit in, and I still really don't. So I made a list as my response.
Because I always carried a notebook or a book with me. Always.
Because I always got the highest grades on tests, and people would always find ways to compare their grades to mine.
Because I read Gone with the Wind in eighth grade in two weeks.
Because none of the guys I had crushes on liked me back. Most of them liked me just "as a friend."
Because teachers would put me in a group with the troublemakers or with the kids who just "didn't get it" so I could help them. This I didn't mind much, but since I was in middle school, of course I wanted to be with my friends.
Because I reminded my teachers of math tests.
Because I hated gym.
Because I won the school spelling bee every year in middle school and went to the regional bee (the one before nationals) twice--and got sixth place there once year.
Because I was perfectly okay with reading or writing during breaks instead of talking to friends.
Because the teachers would never get on to me for reading or writing in class because I still got top grades.
Because there was an awards ceremony every year, and many of the awards would go to me.
Because I was (and still am!) so passionate for something that I love, and they just couldn't (and for some, still can't) understand it.
The last one in particular struck me. I was passionate about writing then, and, as I mentioned in the list, Dr. Nbook (or Nbook at the time) went everywhere with me. I wrote at lunch; I wrote during breaks; I even wrote in class once I figured out the teachers didn't care what I did as long as I still got top grades.
I'm still the same way now, minus the writing in class. Now I try to pay attention, but I'm still passionate. I can't hide what I love, and I shouldn't. Along the way I've picked up several other passions, math among them, and I just can't hide what I love. Doing so would be hiding who I am. Others don't hide their loves--why should I, even if my passions are a little...outside the mainstream?
I think this is one of the main reasons I've never really fit in. Hiding my passions is hiding me. Hiding me would mean hiding a rather interesting (or so I like to convince myself) person.