Have you ever asked yourself “where do I fit in” or “why don’t I fit in”?
I have asked myself these questions more times then I can even count (and I can count very high). But then I attended a lecture, which really hit a chord with me; it was titled “We Are Not Troubled Guests“.
The epiphany I had while seated in the audience of this lecture was that the struggle has never been about finding where we fit in in this world. The real, true struggle is realizing that we ALWAYS have fit in.
Did you get that? WE ALWAYS HAVE FIT IN.
This is a hard concept to come to grips with, especially for me. Growing up I was never what people would call “cool”.
I’ll be the first to admit that from 1st grade all the way up to senior year of high school I was in my awkward years. I was chubby and I had the same bob haircut accompanied by bangs most of my life (hot I know).
To make it even worse, up until middle school I went against wearing the cute dresses and stockings I loved in exchange for a look that would “attract the boys”. The irony of this situation was that the look I believed would make all the boys come to the yard was in fact the exact opposite of what they wanted; the tomboy look.
What made me think that boys would want a girl who was one of the boys is a complete mystery to me. I guess I based this hypothesis on my observation of those naturally athletic girls who can wear sporty attire and look adorable…yeah I’m not one of them.
Unfortunately I realized this too late with a little help from the Swedish Fish substitute. I was in Language Arts class and it was one of those rare, beloved days when the boring teacher was out and the much anticipated substitute teacher was in.
We were doing a super easy activity so when it came time to go over the answers in class nothing was holding me back from raising my hand. The substitute points at me, I provide my answer, and then she says the most horrifying sentence I have ever heard; “HE is right”.
Hold the phone! Did she just call me a he?
Cue face turning bright red and sweat beginning to fall.
The worst part of this whole scenario was the fact that my crush was sitting directly in front of me. And not only did she call me a “he” once, she went on to do it twice. I was mortified.
You may be thinking, “oh she is overreacting”. NOOO! I am not, thank you. Needless to say, that was the day I decided to start dressing like my natural self. That was also the day I realized that I may not be like those pretty, popular girls that the boys drool over but that doesn’t mean I’m an outcast.
I am a sassy, shy, weird, romantic who enjoys making others laugh and you know what, that didn’t stop me from finding love. Sure there was a brief period there when I thought I’d be single forever and die alone with 50 dogs. But hey, good things take time.
The important thing is finding confidence in who you are. You must own all those quirky characteristics that make you, you.
So that was a bit of a tangent, I apologize. The moral of the story is that you shouldn’t change who you are to fit in or please other people.
Not only will this make you unhappy and keep you from living your life to its most authentic, unique potential, but it makes no sense.
You have always belonged. You have always fit in. You have always been enough. It is not always easy to convince ourselves of this. I will admit that I need to remind myself daily of how awesome I am for just being me.
So forget what anyone else says or does to make you feel as if you don’t belong.
Life is going to be full of bullies and they come in all shapes and sizes.
Life is going to be full of hardships and obstacles to overcome.
And in life, there will always be someone prettier or more talented than you.
However, and really listen to this next line, IN THIS LIFE, THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER YOU.
So embrace your weirdness (I certainly have). Own your style. Be brave. Believe in your fantastic self. Brush off the haters but still love the haters (as Jesus says, love thy neighbor). And simply live your life to its fullest and most unique potential.