Comedian Chris Gethard on being an angry high school outcast, and how he found a place in a world that “doesn’t owe you anything”:
As someone who’s spent most of his life feeling like a round peg running into many square holes – it is so much more gratifying when you stop trying to force yourself into those square holes, or prove to those square holes that you’re valid too, and instead go out and find the round holes, and even better, the other round pegs. To try to be something you’re not, to try to go places that reject you, to try to fit in, to try to force people who aren’t accepting you to accept you… it drains you of energy and it never works and it makes you bitter and tired and angry.
But to find the other round pegs out there, those loners, those wanderers, those people who get rejected for whatever reason, that’s the ultimate gratification. They’re out there. I just turned 34, and at this age I am friends almost exclusively with other people who didn’t say much growing up, who felt scared a lot of the time, and who felt like they shouldn’t say what they were thinking because it didn’t fit and they didn’t have a right to speak up. A lot of my friends were people who could never get dates, most of my social circle is composed of people who had reasons to feel angry or alone or scared or sad.
And now we have each other.