Are you trying to fit in?  How? Where?

A few years ago I realized my whole life was spent trying to fit in somewhere.  Work. Family. Socially. As I reflected on what it had cost me to fit in, I realized it had just about cost me everything.  The more I tried to fit in, the more tired and emotionally numb I became.

fit inI asked myself: “When did this craziness start?”  Suddenly, I remembered my small little 4th grade self.  I had always been so excited for school to start, but pretty quickly I realized that I wasn’t the right religion, I was too smart, I was chubby, my parents weren’t from Auburndale, I was happy and outgoing (and a talker).

None of this fit in to Ms. X classroom or Central Elementary school.  So it began –  I did everything I could to fit in.  Trying to become as invisible as possible.  I became a pleaser so that people might not notice I did not fit in.

At about age 49 I just could not keep up the mask anymore.  I felt like the mask was on so tight it was choking me.  I even found myself saying this out loud.  At first, I wanted to blame others, but pretty quickly I realized I had done this to myself.  What could I lose if I just let myself be me?

I did not become myself overnight.  I had to start little by little.  I had been trying to fit in for so long, I had to stop myself and ask if this was really me?  But, I am about 4 years into being aware of how to just be me.  It is enough.

Have you experienced this?  What has it cost you?

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