Ideally, I want to fit in. I want a tribe to belong to.
Yet, I stand out. And, I am fiercely proud of standing out.
The reason is… I have never found a group that didn’t require me to adjust, at least partially, my likes, opinions, speech mannerisms, clothing style, etc., to be more similar to the dominant group members. Even though those are not things that inherently appeal to me. I’m supposed to do it as a social lubricant… so we all look somewhat the same, our tribe matches each other.
I can’t do it. It feels shameful to think about artificially trying to change my own preferences and beliefs to be better integrated into a group.
I’m a very grounded person…strong sense of “who I am.” This got me through some very tough times as a kid. So it’s very valuable to me. I don’t want to lose it. If I start trying to pretend I like something I don’t…I’m making a fake me, and soon even I am at risk of getting confused which “me” is the real one and which one is fake. I’m starting to chop at my roots, become less grounded. No.
So I don’t change to better blend into the group. I stand out. It’s not as relaxing as fitting in. The different ones always get more friction. But, I can handle it.
It’s not always pleasant superficially, but in a deeper way, I feel proud of myself that I don’t buckle under the pressure. I get used to feeling pressure and friction and get stronger because of it. My skin keeps getting thicker and it keeps getting easier and easier for me. Decades have passed. It’s pretty much a done battle now…my skin is very thick now (except to my loved ones, who can actuallly cut me very easily because I keep them so close to my heart, but I trust them there.) So, it’s actually quite enjoyable being me these days, even when I stick out like a giant sore thumb.
But my silly wish? That I will find a group that I will fit into without being required to artificially change myself to match the dominant members. Maybe this group would be very similar to me so I “blend in” naturally… or maybe it would be a proudly “mixed bag” that truly takes pride in its diversity and doesn’t just pay it lip service while sublty applying pressure to assimilate. But in my experience, neither of those type of groups exist. But that’s OK.
I “fit in”…fully…with my closest friends, and my Fiance. And that’s enough for me. I will probably never find an entire group of strangers that I “fit in” with like that. But my thick skin means I will have a great time anyway 🙂