I spent my entire school age years wanting to be“in”. I never was, the new girl was never “in” and unfortunately enough for me, I was the new girl a lot.
I remember it, this girl in one of my middle schools walked around with what appeared to be a school of fish. She went right they went right, she found someone to be attractive and …they also all found him attractive. There was this one time, a little side story, where I actually got to date the attractive boy of the week, for a total of two days. A glorious two days. The day she found out he was going to kiss me, she kissed him first. I just wanted to be IN. Looking back, I’m SO glad he didn’t kiss me! They dated for maybe two weeks until the boy of the week changed.
Monkey see, monkey do and somehow it was as strongly a cultural norm then as it is now. That we identify those people, the ones on the inner circles and we want to be just like them. Before you comment and say, ‘I’ve grown out of that’…think politics, religious leaders, a mom in your mom group, maybe even a sibling. There’s a healthy aspect of admiration and influence. However what I am referring to, are the habits we follow that make us feel like by doing so we will be accepted.
I wish I could say that my personal realization of this habit ended in middle school, however I noticed it again in High School, again in college and even in our move abroad just a few years ago. It’s natural, in the depths of our core I believe its natural to want to fit in. I’ll be transparent with myself and you, saying that it never worked. Never by mimicking, pretending, compromising, changing did this chase of monkey-see-monkey get me to the inner circle.
Instead of giving me the life I thought it would give me, it sucked life from me. You see, I see it so clearly now. We weren’t designed to ‘fit in’ we were however designed for community. Each of us intrinsically contribute to the community, those around us need what we have to offer. Our obsession with fitting in, is robbing us as a whole as a society of the uniqueness the innovative, challenging, out-of-the-box, fresh perspectives that we all have to bring to the table.
Pieces & Molds
I never want to fit in again. I want to belong to a community, yes, but I never want to fit in. Together we make a whole, I bring a piece, you bring a piece and together we make a beautiful mosaic jig-saw. Do you see it as clearly as I do, if we are all the same piece…there’s no way it can be complete. Surely not beautiful.
What also is important about us not all following the same mold. Sometimes thoughts from the outside are challenging. Sometimes they hurt, but often they spark thought. Thoughts of different ways, different views, different lens’ are the only way that we can grow, change and better ourselves! As families, as communities, religious groups, and as people. If we are all conforming to one belief. One thought. One way, how can we ever grow? How can we ever be whole?
Today, I vow to never fit in. To be present in community but never conform, change, or compromise in order to BE. I want to see the beauty of what it looks like for us to all be operating In the very core of who we are, as individuals, together. I hope that my words inspire, I hope that my actions challenge, I do hope that my life brings forth change. However, my goal is not for you to be more like me. Not at all. My heart is that my life, our lives inspire others to be more of themselves. I’m so glad we’re different, never change.
I was living in Thailand, longed for community, starting opening my door and filling my table. Now I’m living ‘charcuterie’ as a way of life and teaching what I learned about living intentionally everyday.
I was living in Thailand, longed for community, starting opening my door and filling my table. Now I’m living Gathering as a way of life and teaching what I have learned about living intentionally everyday.