‘I got freaked out when I looked through your tumblr account…’ JapGirl said.
‘Really?’ I didn’t think I had anything odd or morbid posted there. ‘What freaked you out?’
‘All the pictures you re-posted were the same ones I did too… and it was weird!’
‘I noticed that too…’ I was bemused. For years, I’d lived thinking that my tastes were highly unusual. I don’t like diamonds and prefer used jewelery set with semi-precious stones. I dislike brand names on my bags and clothes. I see words when I talk to people. I also remember them by colour or pictures, which is one reason why everyone in this blog has a nickname (besides retaining their privacy).
The more we work together scripting videos, the more we’re both horrified and amazed at how similar our tastes are. When JapGirl introduces a website to me, more often than not, it’s already bookmarked in my browser. When I suggest a logo, or explain why I’d rather not have things done too polished, she says she was thinking the exact same idea.
We also have similar mixed heritage lines.
‘We’re not unique,’ JapGirl sulked.
‘Horrifying, isn’t it?’ I laughed. ‘For years, we thought our tastes were unusual and had to spend time explaining to people why we like things a certain way… and now, to realize that we even have favourite flowers, what’s left to talk about?’
We walked into the office pantry with our notebooks, ready for a discussion when we spied a box of gummies someone had kindly left behind to share.
‘Look! Isn’t it lovely?’ JapGirl held them out to me.
‘Yeah! I was so tempted to throw out the gummies and take the box!’ I said in reply. Yes, we were both eyeing the container it came in. It was a gorgeous miniature replication of warehouse food delivery boxes, complete with shipping tags and Korean words we couldn’t understand.
‘You think anyone will notice if we left the gummies out and took the box?’ she whispered to me.
I shook my head.
We took the box. And left the gummies behind.
The world grows less alien when we find someone else who cherishes the same things we do. It makes living life that bit less lonely. And loneliness is something that I both enjoy and wish I had less.
For years, I’d been working alongside a team of women who are fabulous. The only problem was that I found it hard to connect with them on a myriad of matters. It taught me to enjoy the differences though, and over the years, my passions and personal interests were slowly subdued, hidden in a dark closet.
I was labeled as odd, dark, weird… it became a fun thing for them to anticipate what I would find interesting.
I didn’t have the energy to constantly explain my penchant for shadows and rainbows, Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman, craft work and fonts… there was just no one around who understood me when I gushed over a beautiful line of poetry or a watercolour painting, dancing barefoot in the rain or lying in a field of flowers.
‘It gets a little lonely sometimes,’ I whispered to the Dream Maker one night, as I hunched over my laptop, writing. ‘They don’t listen to the music I like, they don’t read the books I devour, they aren’t excited over a caterpillar but run screaming the other way. I’m sure there are millions of people out there who are like me but darn it, where are they?’
In a Christian world, I was starting to feel as though I was mistake.
Then in 2009, one by one, they came sashaying in – girls who were unique in their tastes and tolerant of my shadows, who had enough odd quirks to make me feel comfortable in mine. Slowly and tentatively, I began pulling out ideas from that deep private closet, carefully testing their reactions…
And found myself suddenly surrounded by characters that I could connect with.
We created a new world where our differences were celebrated.
Since then, work and life has taken us all down different paths but simply knowing that I’m not on my own anymore has made being alone less… lonely. We’re only a phone call away.
So to all those darling beauties, thank you, for being you. And allowing me to be just me.
When you’re in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out.
A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, ‘Damn, that was fun’.
– Groucho Marx