When I was in elementary school, the teachers would make their students play a game where the students had a bag or box of some sort filled with objects. The aim of the game was to find which object in the bag was the odd one out of the bunch, and if they guessed correctly, they won the game. It was years after I first learned of this game, in my sophomore and junior years of high school, that I began to feel that the object being considered the odd one out was myself.
All around me, I see students who want to be businessmen, doctors, and scientists, actors, really successful occupations, and all I want to be is a broadcast journalist. Everybody around me has friends who they can hang out with after school or over social media, while I'm left in the dust without anything as much as a Snapchat. I’ll admit it, I don't consider myself a very sociable person, and this is the biggest thing I want to change about myself in the future. I continuously ask myself, am I going to be successful in my future? Where do I see my education taking me? Why were my hobbies and likings different than everybody else's?
These questions led to further alienation instead of any answers, and I decided that if I was to be the odd one out of the box, I would use this trait to my best advantage. Starting in early January, I wrote a story, a small one that focused on the idea of something being where it should not naturally be. I decided that for the next year, or 365 days, I will do my best to write a joke, a poem, a story, anything, purposely focusing on scenarios where something doesn't belong, like a burger joint on the surface of Mars, or sailboat at the top of a skyscraper. These silly strings of words allow me to reveal the power that could come from the idea of being different from others, and how much writing can come from being the unfitting piece of the puzzle. It makes me feel good about who I am, and by doing a project like this, I have become more accepting of myself and my traits and talents.
I decided to call this project of mine, “The Tiernan Doyle Family Circus,” a name as out of place as the stories in which it beholds. At the time of this article, a total of 25 compositions have been written, less than a fourth of my goal of 365, but a start nonetheless. I have found it fun to write on the motif of being an outcast, with a plethora of objects that could be considered unnatural in an endless supply of environments and scenarios. It has helped me cope immensely on the idea of being different from others, and how this trait can create so much in its wake. It has even helped me become more sociable, with the idea of writing every day a great spark for conversation with anybody.
It's a relieving feeling being able to use a once thought shortcoming as a way of further myself. By doing something small everyday for a year has already helped me reflect who I truly was, and what I see my role is within society. It has already brought me closer to discovering my artistic potential, and even closer to discovering the inner workings of myself.