Surprisingly, I have something in common with George Carlin.

I was reading George Carlin’s autobiography Last Words – which is wonderful and I recommend to all Carlin fans  – when I stumbled upon this statement that sent a jolt of recognition through me:

“… the curiousness of choosing to be, and feeling, apart from people and at the same time dying to be accepted. Longing to be accepted, to be asked in. But on my terms.”

This was a realization he came to later in life. The realization that he so wanted to be part of the group (define “the group” as you wish), but only if they’d allow him to be himself. Which is not how most group dynamics work.

I finally had words for a feeling that I’ve struggled to define for most of my life. That ego-driven quest to be liked, to be appreciated, recognized, applauded, accepted, loved by some group or another… but not wanting to change my Self to fit in. I’ve tried changing myself  and it doesn’t work, I am too much of a social spazz to pull it off. I’m not that sophisticated; I end up feeling fake which makes me uncomfortable and self-conscious (isn’t that an odd term? Conscious of which self?), which in turn makes me act like a dork. Vicious cycle. So I decided to be myself and if I don’t fit in, to hell with them. I know the pain of having friends get turned off to me; it never gets easier to deal with being dumped by people who liked me until they got to know me.

So, George, I’m with ya.

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