Tuesday, April 30, 2013

barefooted freak.

this was my day in a nutshell.



ok, the nutshell needs explanation.

first, i have to go to class to learn german.   the german government requires anyone outside of the euro zone that comes into the country and wants to stay, to take the classes and learn the language and some of the culture, government and laws of the land.   i really wish america had this.   the classes are intensive.   if you're not working, 4 hours a day, 5 days a week.   the classes cost 1.20€ per hour.   if you show up regularly and pass the course, you get half of that money back.   it is fascinating!   not the language.   the language is hard and sometimes, most of the time, makes no sense.   the people that i go to school with, however are very interesting.   i have people from all over europe and africa.   

here's where my recent awakening and the revelations of the day come in.   i have for a while, being in a very different culture, that is more . . . hmmm. . . . less. . . . . well . . . the culture here finds me. . . .stranger than the american culture finds me, which is actually saying quite a bit.    europe is more free with fashion, not the quick moving fads.    more free with the body but less free with the bare feet (weird).   more art, more self expression in dress, hair, piercings, music,  but less free with what kind of behaviour is socially acceptable.   hard to explain.   but my bare feet are weird.   my sliding on the ice patch on the sidewalk is weird.   my joking and being silly is weird.   so, although i am used to being the strange, weird, odd, bizarre, etc. freak, i am not used to a culture trying to change it and being so very shocked by it.   i am not used to so much pressure and i'm not used to so few people that are the same crazy, fun freaks.    it's stifling.

now that i am interacting with more people on a more regular basis, i feel it more.   and, it cannot be.   i refuse to be something other than what i am.   i am not trying to stand out.   i am not trying to be weird.   i just am.   i do what i do for my amusement.   if others come along, fine.   if they don't, which happens a lot here, i go alone.

that brings me to today.
in class, i have started to throw things in for my amusement.   when asked to guess what another student ate during the day, i said bread and butter and ostrich eggs for breakfast, dino meat and veggies for lunch and alligator with noodles and gravy for dinner with a side of vodka to wash it all down.   today, when we were supposed to practice telephoning work to tell them we were unable to come in for the day.  i gave everything in perfect grammar and said i couldn't come in because i had to shave my legs.   later, while listening to explanations of things i understood, i put my face between my hands and squished my face.  i didn't try to attract attention to it, i just sat there listening, and doing pudgy faces.   it amused me.   
a friend of mine told me i forgot to grow up.   and yes, i told her, "no, i refused, there's a difference."   then i told her i would remain a child as long as possible because adults are boring.

later, as i was riding my bike home, i smiled and greeted as many people as i could.   i just think it's polite.   i happened to be wearing a earwarmer thing i made.   it didn't turn out the way i wanted, but it keeps the wind out of my ears.    anyway, as i greeted people, i got a familiar look from many of them.   it's that "socially unacceptable, non-conformist, what a freak" look.   i realized that it didn't bother me.    i realized that it gave me freedom!  i mean, if i'm going to get this look, i can do anything.   it's like being afraid of catching because you're afraid of getting hit with the baseball.   once you get hit once, you're not afraid anymore, it's happened.        there is nothing more to be afraid of.    

i realized that the people that have to be around you, school, church, whatever, will get used to it.   the people that don't, who cares?   the people that have to be around me, find that i am generally a good person and can put up with my quirks, even if it's just because they have no other choice.

here's what i learned as well.   i can't allow myself to sink into gray.   it's not what i am.   i am respectful, kind, intelligent, loyal, resourceful, witty, and helpful.   i am also a goofy, silly, weird, odd, bizarre, strange, barefooted freak.

i don't fault anyone for being what they are.   if people want to be tight and straightlaced, fine, be it.   own what you are.   don't hurt others on the way, be honest about what you are, change what you don't like, but keep what you do.   be true to what you are and all of the wonderful things you can become.   you are the only you that this world gets, don't let us miss out on that.   don't let you miss out on that.

have a great day
and smile
even if the world sneers back
someone important needs that smile from you
even if no one else does
you do