My entire life I’ve longed to fit in somewhere. Like a lost puzzle piece under a carpet…
Starting school was weird for me. I always had one best friend and a couple other friends. But I only ever felt like I fit in when I was with that one friend. Around 5th grade I started homeschooling and I felt like an outcast even in a place where all the outcasts were supposed to fit in. Then we moved and I started middle school back in a public school.
I didn’t fit into this new school. I went through middle school hoping to fit in. I took drastic measures and changed every aspect of me until I couldn’t recognize myself in the mirror anymore. But I was still weird. Even with the new clothes, the makeup, and my new habit of tearing down kids who were just like me… So I stopped pretending… that didn’t impress my new friends as much.
In 8th grade I did a play at this little community theatre about 20 minutes from my house.
For the first time in my entire life, I felt like I fit in.
I met some of my best friends and they accepted me and loved me for the weird, weird person that I am.
The more I think about it, the more I realize, I don’t fit in at the theatre, with my friend group. I’m the youngest of nearly all of my friends… in most social groups I’m the only one still in high school… or even in college.
Yet, I still never feel as warm as I am when I’m at the theatre or with my theatre friends.
And here is the point… the big EUREKA moment: I will never fit in.
No matter how much I change and conform… I will never fit in. But I’m not supposed to fit in. The purpose of life… although I don’t know it… is certainly not to become someone I’m not.
I don’t fit in with my friend group and that is totally okay.
I don’t fit in at school and that is absolutely okay.
I don’t fit in at home sometimes… and that’s fine.
I don’t need to, and I won’t, justify my friends or myself because someone else thinks I’m weird or that I should.
So there it is. I’m not a puzzle piece. I will never be a perfect fit somewhere.
And yes, it hurts when I feel alone or like an outcast. But that is almost always wiped away by the people who care about me.
Maybe people are puzzle pieces… but if so, we don’t fit and we don’t make a puzzle. Imagine taking one puzzle piece from millions of different puzzles and trying to force them all together to make a clear and perfectly fitting picture. It sounds absurd… so if people are those puzzle pieces, why do we expect to fit in?
There’s always that moment while you’re making the puzzle and the piece won’t fit so you just try to shove it somewhere that it will. You might end up bending the piece or you force it someplace it shouldn’t be.
I’m not going to keep bending and trying to fit. I’m okay with being just me.
Look at any of Wes Andersons movies… no one fits in and everyone is so quirky and unique… and I think that’s Mr. Anderson’s point. Everyone is weird in their own way and when you put people together, unfiltered, you get something strange yet seriously beautiful.
And I think that is what everyone wants their life to be. Beautiful.
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
~ Dr. Seuss