It’s hard to say why some of us end up being the outsider. Sometimes you find people just tell you: ‘You’re weird’, ‘You’re not like everyone else’. But I wasn’t even trying, you think.
Discovering you are the odd one out can be a tiring, lengthy process that involves moments of social failure, bad performances and necessary isolation. It takes time to realise the difference in recognising you might be crazy and the later recognition that that crazy is not going to change. Being labelled ‘weird’ at school is fine so long as you learn to conform in time. But if you don’t, if you do things like read far too much, love far too much, or start a yoga practice (because we know yoga ruins your life); then you have to start to get used to life on the edges.
Being the crazy one serves an important societal function by reaffirming the blandness of the rest. Being the crazy one can also be entertaining in causing people discomfort when you choose to not adhere to the appropriate rules of the situation; if you do things at the wrong age, if you don’t have an investment account, if (as a woman) you don’t have a partner or you don’t want children, or if your life is sort of crumbling apart all the time and you don’t really mind.
We’re not the detached ones, we just far too fascinated by living to waste it becoming X-Factor watching machines. Sometimes we make no sense, we constantly interrupt the self-conscious account of ourselves, and it gets messy and we say the wrong things and we want to do it all over again. But we can’t because you were just born this way and for whatever reason the events in your life impressed on you in such a way that it can’t be undone. But we come undone all the time, we give ourselves over to the other all the time because the boundaries of life and death are always so thin living out on the edges; a constant awareness of the fragility and contingency of life means making risky choices, travelling across the world for adventures and falling into inappropriate encounters.
It might mean being greedy and idealistic and loving the wrong people, and seeing things the way others don’t. It means not really belonging to anyone or anything except the idea, the ideas that fuel you. It’s being the other woman, the one that got away, and falling for the one who never quite got it. It’s being a bad investment, scary and threatening; it’s never quite being the same thing one day to the next. It’s always seeking that place a little bit outside ourselves, either in a foreign landscape, the bottom of a wine glass, on the yoga mat, or inside the mind of another. It’s feeling people too much and never quite keeping enough of yourself to really know who you are. It’s laying yourself bare with no guarantees, it’s investing desires and dreams but never knowing where they will go, it’s about losing everything and your self over and over again.
Living on the edge of crazy is never easy, it can get exhausting and overwhelming out here. But it will be realer, it will be the realest thing you ever tasted.