“Where you are understood you’ll feel at home”
– Random Paper Wisdom –
Often I feel uncomfortable around people and that’s my cue to believe I do not belong to their in-group. But yesterday, during class, something funny happened. As I walked into the classroom and found a seat, one of my classmates smiled at me. Not anything meaningful, but that tiny gesture made me believe I was part of the group.
I always assume I am the last one to fit in, because I used to be just that: the odd one out. The one who was so different she couldn’t fit in no matter how hard she tried (and you know to what lengths I went, Life, to try and be one of the “cool kids”, or at least one of the accepted kids).
A similar moment occurred later when another classmate, who was seated next to me, leaned over and told me a funny anecdote about something that had happened during her week. And so more and more seemingly small gestures and moments happened, making me feel more and more part of the whole.
It was a very unfamiliar, almost strange feeling that came over me. When I tried extremely hard to fit in I never did, but when I assume I’ll remain on the outer lines, merely looking in on the group but never being a real part of it myself, I am welcomed in heartily.
You have a funny way of working your magic, Life, but I suppose you have a reason for everything.
The result of yesterday was that I felt more uplifted and less stressed out. Even when we were practising another coaching talk (and let’s be honest here: I do not have the practical side of coaching down by a far!), I didn’t mind making a few mistakes here and there. Neither did the person I was practising with.
Then today, I met up with friends as one of them was celebrating her birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY AGAIN!! :D). I carpooled there with another friend and as we drove towards the birthday girl’s house we had a lovely chat.
I feels good to be in line with people. Not even having to have everything in common with them, but the feeling of being accepted and understood means a lot.
I had always – subconsciously – assumed to be a part of an in-group you’d need to have a lot in common with the rest of its members. But I was wrong. The only thing you need to have in common is the mutual sense of respect: respect each other to be different and respect each other to be heard.
That is why trying to fit in never works out for anyone: there’s not a set rule to meet up to someone’s expectations. The only thing you can do is try to be yourself, be honest and open, and then you’ll find people who will respect you and who’ll make you feel welcome. That’s when you find your in-groups, the people who make you feel at home and who will understand you, in different aspects of life (friends, studies, work places, etcetera).
So be you and fear not: Life will hand you the people you’ll be at home with, usually when you least expect it. Maybe you won’t completely understand how it happened, but they will understand you.