This is how I have felt most of my life, for as far back as I can remember. First day of Kindergarten, I remember feeling this feeling. I DON’T FIT IN. What can I do to change this? Change my hair, my clothes, the way I speak. Maybe if I walk a certain way, jump a certain way, be a certain way, I will fit in.
This question still comes up weekly, sometimes daily 30 years later. I don’t fit in. I desire friends, success, happiness, and love. I actually have those things…however, I still feel like I don’t fit in. I walk into a room of people I don’t know and I assume they are all summing me up. They way I walk, the way I talk, the way I dress. My anxiety spikes, I survey the room looking for people I know or people I may fit in with. Then I remember…what they think about me is none of my business. I don’t WANT to fit in. I actually understand that I HAVE friends, success, happiness, and love because I don’t fit in.
“yeah, but they are still better than me”
So what shifted? There was a point when I was living in San Francisco, 6 years ago, where I wanted to be everyone else in the room. I looked across at this woman, and that woman even while they were pouring out their own stories of challenges, and I thought to myself, “yeah, but they are still better than me”. Oh how wrong I was…I just didn’t know it yet. Over the course of the next week, I went home every day and I wrote out exactly what these women had that I didn’t. What qualities these women had that I wanted…and what I found was that I did have those qualities…>EVERY SINGLE ONE.
What did I do with this information? Jump for joy, nope, I wanted to hide under the blankets on my bed forever. What this meant to me was, I wasn’t showing up, I was playing small. I was hiding all of these qualities away afraid the world would see them and expect something from me….like greatness. That was a panic inducing discovery!
I discovered that week that I had amazing things to give back to the world. I also found out that while I don’t fit in, we are all the same. We all have the same emotions. We all are having a human experience. We all have challenges to overcome. We all have greatness that we are afraid of…and that can create a fear that we don’t fit in. If only I can disguise my greatness I can be more like her, or maybe I can adopt her greatness because if it works for her…maybe it will work for me.
We are all the same, and we are all unique. We all have a message, a purpose, a spark within us that makes us unique. We could all do the exact same thing and it would still be different because we are unique.
So, what I discovered was I don’t fit in, and I don’t want to fit in. Fitting in means covering up and hiding MY gifts, MY uniqueness, MY message. I don’t want someone to like me because I’m wearing the same designer she is. I don’t want someone to hang out with me because I repeat the same crap she says. I don’t want you to like me if you don’t like MY message.
Some people may think I’m shy, or evasive because I don’t talk endlessly about politics or the drama of our community. I don’t care truthfully, because I do talk endlessly about the things that matter. I’ll riff all day on spirituality, self-love, empowerment, limiting beliefs, being afraid (and doing it anyway). Ask me about things that matter to me and I show up.
I don’t fit in with the soccer moms discussing play dates for the weekend. However I can connect with each and every one of them when discussing passion and purpose in life. I am not a sports fanatic, in fact I know very little about the technical aspects of football, basketball, or baseball. When my boyfriend puts on a 30 For 30, or other sports story about a player’s life, I’ll watch it hanging on every word, and 9 times out of 10 I’ll be crying. I love success, I love empowerment, I love triumph, I love watching people grow into themselves. It is the most beautiful part of life I have ever discovered, and ALL of those stories are about people who don’t fit in. That doesn’t mean they don’t have friends, success, or love. It means they have those things in spades!!!
Taking a chance on being you and living your story of NOT fitting in is what dreams are made of.
Believe. IN YOU