Friday, November 14, 2014

Glad I Didn't Get My Wish

It seems everyone I know has a story about at least one time, and generally multiple times, when he or she felt like a misfit. Out of place moments or awkward situations rank as some of the most difficult times for youth. Teens and early twenties are times when most of us want to fit in, to belong, to feel we are a part of something larger than us. We equate belonging with being loved.

I particularly like this quote for the post script. Getting my wish of fitting in didn't always work out the way I wanted it to work.

Looking back, I find that most of my life was spent "on the outside, looking in." I recognize now that I didn't "fit in" because I was strong in my unique spirit. I wouldn't have said that at the time. It's taken years to recognize its truth. To "fit in" meant doing or saying or wearing things that didn't come naturally to me. I wanted to "fit in" but didn't want to make the required changes. I wanted more to be accepted than to belong.

Now I see the strength that kept me apart as a gift. I had a strong sense of self, though sometimes I found myself wanting the company of others. When my peers went out for pizza or my co-workers met for an after work cocktail, I longed for an invitation to join them. Yet I learned to be content with my solitude. I found my own company enjoyable. Others did invite me along over time. Not fitting in led me to inner peace, a level of comfortability with myself and choice.

Did you want to 'fit in' when you were younger? Did you actually fit in? How did you feel? What did you do to get through it? How do you feel about 'fitting in' now?

1 comment:

  1. I am not sure if I really did want to fit in, if it meant trying to emulate others. I definitely did wish I had friends. I remember being a kid and my mom saying, "I know it sucks, but you might have to start trying harder to dress and act like the others. People feel more comfortable with other people like themselves." And I remember balking at that... I didn't really know how to act like others, but I didn't really want others to become friends with a fake version of me. What I really wanted was people to like me for my real self. Even now, friends like that are few and far between!