It's a lifestyle even if it wasn't a choice. We don't know when it started happening, but it just did. One day, we woke up, went to school, met our friends, and counted.
An odd number, an odd population, and we were the only ones not even. We were that extra piece. We were the Oreo in that package without another half. We were the "Odd Wheel In." That third, fifth, seventh, twenty-first person in a friend group, who didn't have that other half. Within our friend groups, best friend groups formed, and we may have best friends, but we never had that best friend.
It's no one's fault. It's not even ours. It's just how it is.
And the thing -- is everyone is the Odd Wheel In. Some just find their way in more than others.
I started seeing it with me in middle school. I had two best friends that I loved more than anything and I still love today. They have been there for me, even after we went off to college, and the loyalty between the three of us will never fade. Nonetheless, they were best friends before I met them. They had that past, that foundation, that bond that I could not strike up with just one of them. They are still best friends to this day, and they have best friend dates, and I am okay with it now.
When I first realized that I was a third wheel, I was upset. I wondered where I belonged, and who I belonged with. Where was my other half of the Oreo. It was difficult because i started overthinking everything about myself with them. Was I intruding on "they" time? Did they even want me here? If I hung out with one, would they other one get angry at me?
It caused a lot of anxiety for me, despite the fact that I wasn't the Odd Wheel Out. I was the Odd Wheel In!
See, the "in" part means just that...you are in! You are a friend to this even number! You are included and you are loved. You are more important than you think. You are that second opinion, or that deciding vote on the plans for the evening. You're the mediator too, and you're kind of happy for that. Everyone is close to you and you're close to everyone.
We are people who are happy with best friends, not just a best friend.
Sometimes it's difficult. Sometimes, we need that one person, and that other half to the Oreo that is us. Sometimes, we pick up on being that other wheel, and for a second, we may feel like we are even needed. Two wheel can pedal a bike, four wheels can make the car move, eighteen wheels can handle a truck, etc.
But here's the thing. Us Odd Wheels In? We make them stable. You can't fall over on a tricycle, and if you added that extra wheel, the other vehicles wouldn't break. They would keep going.
We are the anchors. We are important. We are appreciated.
We're just a bit odd at times.