I’m tainted.

Yes, the verdict is in. I am beyond a doubt, tainted. Unsalvageable. Damaged beyond repair. Gone, baby, gone.

See, I’m not normal. Part of that is the anxiety that colours my everyday life. It permeates everything I do and everything I am. I can’t get away from that so I don’t even bother trying any longer. However, when you live with a dragon, you have two ways you can go; you can either cower in fear from it or make it your friend. I chose friendship.

Platypus

Platypus

That’s only part of it, though. I’m weird in lots of other ways, too.

I like things I’m not supposed to. Always have. For example, I am a fan of Bioware. I don’t just mean, “gosh, I really admire that company.” I mean, I am a screaming, tear out my hair, eyes crying for joy fan. I always have been. Why? A number of reasons. Bioware is Edmonton born and raised, just like me. More than that, they tell an awesome story. I know. I played Dragon Age and Dragon Age II so many times I can recite the scripts by heart. When I got to meet Dr. Ray Muzyka, I thought I’d straight out faint. It’s more than the local boy doing good. Bioware has taken storytelling and permeated it through their entire company. Even the walls of their Edmonton offices are like an art gallery of their games and stories. For someone like me, that’s as close to Nirvana as I’m ever going to get.

My oddities go far beyond my love of a gaming company, though. I do all sorts of things I’m told I’m not supposed to do at times I’m not supposed to do them.

When I’m at networking events I feel vaguely like a platypus amongst swans. I could stick a bunch of swan feathers to my back and make honking noises to blend in but I’d still be a platypus. Instead of trying to hide my platypus nature, I just go with it. The result is that I often say or do things that shock or amaze. I have been known to flirt, tell jokes (sometimes naughty ones) and give very blunt opinions. I’m not sure the swans know what to make of me.

However, there are a few people who smile and admire my outspoken passion. I’ve tried to be the swan, they are beautiful after all, but I eventually go back to platypussing. Now I just do what a platypus does among the swans. When I meet potential clients, I introduce myself as a platypus and I get one of two reactions; either they see me as a breath of fresh air or they walk away. A few feel the need to correct my platypus nature “for my benefit” but those assholes are few and far between.

These past few years I’ve learned a valuable lesson about myself. I’m not like everyone else. I have a few challenges such as my anxiety to figure out. However, I’m not going to change or pretend to be something I’m not just because a dissenting few think I should behave in this way or that. I am passionate and I bring that to everything I do. For those of my clients who are looking for something different, a platypus isn’t a swan but it’s still damn cute and I’m good at what I do. Sometimes a platypus is just what you need.

I guess that makes me tainted and I’m okay with that.

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