I've always been a little out of the group.
From a kid to an adult, I just don't seem to fit in 100%. As a kid I listened to top 40, because everyone else was, but I loved classic rock. Even now at 32 I listen at Alt rock, even though I am NOT the prime demographic.
On one level you would think that would make me more in touch with my students. But nope. Every year only one or two students listen to the same music I listen to.
I don't watch too much network TV. I watch The Office, How I met your Mother, The Big Bang Theory and Glee. No crime dramas. No NCIS--- I've tried the show at least 5 different times and I find something really jarring about the characters.
I am the only one of my in real life friends who writes YA and reads it as often as I do.
Lots of times when I talk, people just stare or nod.
I like anime before it was cool. I had to take an hour train ride and twenty minute subway ride into Chinatown and go into an underground (literally) mall, just to get a few VHS of Kenshin.
The simple fact is I don't care about the same things other people care about. I don't know anything about sports, world events or politics.
I assume these are things that other people understand, because what else are they occupying their time with?
I've had groups where I fit in, a few people who share one or two of my interests, I've got friends. I'm not a total social reject.
But I spend a lot of time wondering what's going on with the rest of the world.
This is why I teach middle school and why I write YA.
I'm not an outcast but I'm an observer. I know what it feels like not to fit in. Not to fit in your own skin, your neighborhood. To always be a little confused about what the people around me are talking about.
Mentally I never left middle school.
High school is still interesting to me.
College seems like a lifetime ago.
And honestly that's exactly how I like it.