Sunday, 5 December 2010

41. Fitting In

For as long as I can remember, I have always felt like the odd one out; the one that doesn’t quite fit in. I’ve been on the sidelines looking in to a world that I’ve never really quite connected to.

My sister once asked me, when we were teenagers, if I was a hippy. I used to wear long flowing cardigans and liked to meditate even when I didn’t know what meditation really was. I wasn’t into boys (go figure), I certainly wasn’t into “Take That” or “Boyzone”. I couldn’t be bothered with fashion or make up. I was just me, and that’s the way I liked it. There was only one problem; when people began branching off to find groups that they seemed to belong to, I never really found mine. Not that I was alone; I just never felt like I fitted in the group that I’d fallen into.

For eight years, I worked for a small company and a large proportion of my time was spent alone, so going into a working environment with a lot of people hasn’t been easy. It’s been a strange mix of craving for company and a shyness that I’ve never quite shaken off. 

When I first started this new job, I found myself spending a lot of energy into trying to fit in, but with no television – by choice – and no interest in celebrity gossip, diets, or shoes, I found it difficult. It was like school all over again, and, I admit, I got scared.

As the weeks went by, I began to realise that I can't be any different from who I am, and I wouldn't want to change, even if I could. I really don’t like television or Facebook, diets or exercise plans. If there is anything that I have learned over the past couple of months, and from reading buddhist philosophies, is that life doesn't have to be about “fitting in”; it’s about being your self and letting others in.


  1. Melikes the thinking behind this Buddhist philosophy very much indeed. Anyway not "fitting in" or feeling different in my humble opinion is good for the artistic side of ones character :)

  2. Thanks for the comment, TF. And yes, I agree, sometimes not "fitting in" can really be good for the artistic side ;-)

  3. I think it's really great that you see life as a kind of evolution. If you are not expecting things to stay the same, it makes change much easier to deal with because you see it as a natural part of life.

    It is probably not very buddhist to be envious!