I had a moment today as I looked over my Facebook friends trying to decide whom to specifically invite to a comedy show. My circle of people is so eclectic that sometimes it is hard to know exactly where I fit in.
There’s the church crowd, the people who knew me when I was really involved in organized religion. In fact, there was a time in my life when I wanted to be a minister. Then there are the gays, the ones with whom I dance the night away, play basketball, or make art. There are my kids, who’ve graduated and are finally old enough to actually see a show but young enough for me not to know what the hell they’re talking about at any given moment. There’s my family, who have all of a sudden come out of the woodwork to join Facebook; I haven’t spoken to many of them in person (until recently) in years and yet they’re a huge part of who I am. There are my WWE friends. Yes, I love professional wrestling and I don’t care who knows it anymore. And there are more.
I am the kind of person with many different circles. I have also traditionally been the kind of person who didn’t like his worlds to collide. I would rather have control of how everyone sees me and not have people reveal too much information to someone who isn’t already privy to it. Control freak much? Guilty.
Because I belong to such divergent groups, I often feel like I don’t have a true group of my own. Perhaps this is why I call myself a token. I’m generally comfortable in almost any social setting even though I am rarely with people who share my background or interests. I float between groups, collecting stories, gossip, fashion tips, and new vocabulary. I never wanted those groups to necessarily know about each other though. The people in the church don’t need to know about my wrestling addiction right?
Now that I am 30, I’ve seen a big change in how I view the world. My philosophy of separate but equal has begun to morph into a philosophy of “screw it, who
cares?” The pieces of my life don’t have to add up in any specific way. All that matters is that I like the things I do. Anyone who doesn’t has no place in my circle anyway.
So I won’t discriminate who I invite to a show. I will find my true fan base by telling stories that way I like to tell them and allowing people to decide if they’re in or out. I’m not interested in diminishing any part of myself to fit in a particular group. I want to bring all of me to every circle of influence in which I operate. Instead of me choosing my people, I will let my people choose me. I am token, hear me roar.
So much of life is just being comfortable with who you are. Don’t waste any time today worrying about how other people perceive you. If that means you end up being a token like me, then welcome to the club. It’s good to have some company.