•What It’s Like To Never Fit In•
I don’t like coming home from every social situation feeling bad about myself.
I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like I didn’t belong since I was little, or even in the past month. For a long while, I’ve been feeling like an outsider, like a wannabe social chameleon, who always projects the wrong colors in the wrong places. I was just different. Even with the people I’m closest to, I feel like a square that a two-year-old is trying to fit in a circle.
My social life has been characterized by waves of loneliness, confusion, and flat out awkwardness. I wander around from place to place, job to job, and friend to friend, trying to find somewhere I feel comfortable, somewhere I can be myself. I exhaust myself morphing into different personas, laughing at jokes that aren’t funny and attempting to pitch into conversations I don’t care about. I stutter, fumble my words, and get flustered. I invest my time into making myself likable so I can fit into that group that I’ve always wanted to belong to or to fit into the ideal coworker standard. And no matter how hard I try, I can’t understand why people pretend to act nice, when I can clearly see how they’re really feeling about me. It’s frustrating. I put things into simpler terms to help people understand what I’m feeling, only to receive responses of ‘you’re being dramatic’ or an uninvolved ‘I’m sorry’. I go out in this bubble of happiness, then one moment pops it. I burst and I’m drowning in solitude. And it’s meaningless to go out having someone tell you one thing when you’ve taught yourself another. Even when I’m walking on the simple streets of where I grew up, I feel like an alien. The worst is, feeling like the oddball in the family, afraid to express my thoughts or dreams because they’re too far-fetched. I’m sick of hearing that they aren’t possible in the world we live in today. I feel silly. And it’s awfully tempting to run away and mold into something else because maybe then someone would enjoy me or I’d fit in where I’m supposed to be.
Every time I feel like I’ve finally fit myself into that box, I pop right back out. And at times it feels like it’s just plain hard existing alongside the rest of humanity, but I have to remember that there are other people who feel like this. There are also a lot of other people who are just like me, and maybe by posting this, I’ll find them. I’m constantly changing and although a lot of my days are filled with discouraging moments, there’s still a voice in the back of my head saying ‘your people are out there’.
It’s taken a long while for me to accept the fact that I won’t ever fit in where I am right now, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t somewhere. Even if it’s just by myself, I know I have a home. Not everyone is going to like me, or get my jokes. And maybe, I’ll never be in a clique, but that doesn’t make me any less and I’m still just as interesting as the next. I don’t want to be normal. I want to be me.
So, I encourage you to stop trying to fold yourself the right way to fit in the box. You look much better outside of it and even if it isn’t right now, your people are coming. You shouldn’t have to become something you aren’t to have a friend or to get that job or to get your family to love you. Everything you were meant to be is inside and totally worthy. You are unique and exceptional, no matter your skills or outlook.
You have a place in this world.