I’m quirky. That’s not negotiable. The only thing people are usually unsure about is just how quirky I am. It’s currently at the point where many of my friends think I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Although I can confirm that I do not, I would be lying if I said I didn’t understand their mindset.
Numbers are incredibly important to me. After finishing a math test early several years ago, a teacher once asked me why I spent fifteen minutes staring at the ceiling. Thinking I was in a trance, she was worried about whether I was getting enough sleep at home. While she was correct about the fact that I don’t sleep nearly as much as I should, what she didn’t realize was that I purposely finished the test early because I wanted to count the number of ceiling tiles in the room. In my defence, it had been bothering me all year. I count everything. I know exactly how many books I have in my room, how many forks we own and how many tests I’ve taken this year. Before you start to think that I’m actually insane, my mom does the same thing. To fall asleep, I count. To alleviate boredom, I count. To pretend like I’m paying attention, I count. Odd numbers are also my favorites. I have been known to read an extra page in my book or solve an extra problem simply because the number wasn’t odd.
Without getting too deep into the inner workings of my crazy mind, I understand the world as simply the continuous passage of time. If you think about it, the only way we can actually prove our existence is because time progresses at the rate is does, not any faster or slower. I always try to maximize my time in a day by scheduling everything. There are several lists on my cell phone outlining the amount of time allotted to homework for each class and I have about seventeen alarms on my phone to remind me when to move on to the next assignment or wake up from a nap. As crazy as this all sounds, it’s incredibly effective. I’ve never missed an assignment, never had to pull an all-nighter for any school-related reason and never felt unprepared for an exam. While I do procrastinate a fair amount, I get everything done. As my parents will tell you, I also make homework for myself. I don’t like the idea of “playing school” by simply memorizing formulas for tests and forgetting them immediately afterwards. I like to understand everything in completely unnecessary detail. After all, I only get to experience high school once so I might as well maximize the “payout.” On any given day, I’ll usually finish my homework around eight and spend the next three hours either studying the material or moving ahead. Earlier this year, I was about two chapters ahead in both English and European History, several days ahead in Statistics and working on Calculus II topics. I spent more than half of my Sunday afternoons working on weird physics or mathematics problems just for the sake of working on and I’m currently about halfway through my review of sophomore year Biology.
I never pay retail. I hate shopping with a passion and I hate spending money frivolously. I bought my $150 Texas Instruments 84 College Edition Graphing Calculator for less than $30, I stole several sweaters from my brother instead of buying my own and I’ve managed to furnish my bedroom using only what I could find in my basement and a fifty-dollar Amazon gift card. I’ve slept with the same red blanket since I was seven (that’s more because I have an emotional connection to it) and have used the same reading lamps since I was an infant. I’m not broke. I actually make pretty decent money. I just refuse to buy anything I can’t justify. In fact, the only time I spend money is when I’m buying Christmas gifts for my baby cousins who literally own my heart.
I always chew mint gum. I cannot stress enough that it has to be MINT gum. Bubblegum makes me nauseous and fruit-flavored gum is simply too potent. Personally, I prefer Orbit Wintermint, but I’m not usually too picky. There are two reasons for this. The first is that I study while chewing gum and wearing my glasses. Studies have shown that if you try to recreate the exact same conditions you were in while learning, it’ll improve your memory. Therefore, on test days, I’m always wearing my glasses and chewing my gum. While I can neither confirm nor deny the validity of said studies, I will say that I can count on one hand how many times I’ve scored less than a B+ on any assignment since the beginning of high school. The second reason is much simpler. I hate bad breath. When I had my first kiss when I was fifteen, my boyfriend’s breath was so terrible that a “right of passage” quickly turned into one of the most traumatizing experiences of my life. While we have since broken up, it has now become a habit of mine to chew about four to five pieces of mint gum on days when I have to be out in public.
I’m always moving and I speak with my arms. Whenever I’m not bouncing my leg or tapping my pencil on my notebook, it feels like someone is drumming on the inner walls of my chest. I physically cannot keep still. While I could attribute my flailing arms to the fact that I’m about a quarter Italian, the truth is that I did not have a very loud or resonating voice growing up. Worse yet, I had a stutter for the longest time. As such, I used to overcompensate by flailing my arms so people would pay attention to me. Old habits die hard and now I have to make an effort to not flail while trying to speak. As many of my friends will say, such efforts have been to no avail.
I don’t wear my t-shirts haphazardly. In fact, they tend to correlate with my mood. If I’m wearing a black shirt, I’m feeling insecure. Purple shirts tend to fall on days that I don’t have tests or projects while light blue corresponds to my neutral mood. Red and green are usually reserved for test and presentation days while grey and white are worn on days when I’m more tired than usual. The sleeve length is also important. I will not wear t-shirts with sleeves that do not go at least halfway down my bicep. This is largely due to fencing, where one bad night can result in very noticeable bruises for the next two weeks.
I’m the most meticulous person I know when it comes to television. I don’t watch too many shows, but those that I do watch have essentially consumed my soul. If you don’t believe me, my phone wallpaper is fanart of a character who died over two years ago. In fact, I started watching another, completely unrelated television show with the same actress just so I could pretend the character was still alive. The new show is absolutely horrible, but it fills a void in my heart. Anyways, my Friday nights are a ritual. I wait until the rest of my family has fallen asleep so I won’t be disturbed, turn all the lights off (so no one can see my tears) and lay on my couch with the remote in my right hand. I’m not allowed to watch TV with other people because I always have to rewind in order to hear ALL the dialogue and look for plot holes. I also have a weird obsession with screencasts and have been known to try for thirty minutes to pause a show at the right moment so I can get a nice picture.
I am the worst about food. Not only do I not eat most meat, but I won’t drink any soda unless it is Coca Cola from Mexico. This is because Mexican Coke is made with cane sugar instead of the typical gross American syrupy garbage. I won’t eat anything I can’t chew
My craziness even extends into music. The only reason I drape my ponytail over my right shoulder is because I rest my violin on my left. I haven’t grown my fingernails out since fourth grade because they used to get stuck in the strings. I even have a system for tuning. If I don’t start with the E string and move from right to left, I will literally start over. I also never play with my fourth finger, preferring to shift into second position. It’s significantly more difficult and completely unnecessary, but
I like what I like. While I am more than aware that I deviate from what is considered “normal” by a fair amount, I’m not ashamed of my personality. If anything, I embrace it. I love numbers, hate shopping and will mourn the untimely passing of Lexa kom Trikru until my dying breath. At the very least, my t-shirts will always be a great conversation starter.