“She had used “outcast”, but she wasn’t cast out at all, just different from those around her.”
As a young girl, I never felt that I quite fit in with those around me. It was as if I was living in a parallel universe that existed just alongside, but slightly misaligned with the universe the rest of the population lived in. Not fitting in was a source of constant frustration for me as I grew up and during my early twenties because no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t make my square peg fit in others’ round holes. No matter how much I liked a group of people or agreed with what they believed in, I still felt out of place, I never quite fit.
Getting older finally taught me that trying to be something I wasn’t was fruitless, exhausting, and wrong. The idea that anyone has to be a certain way is outdated and utterly false. I (and anyone else) could just be who I was. I could choose to associate with what groups complemented me, rather than trying to fit into a mold that wasn’t designed for me. I realized that I wasn’t really a peg after all, just a person who wasn’t willing to be constrained by other’s expectations of what I should or shouldn’t be, think, do, or believe.
I’ve been lucky in the past few years to meet others like me – former square pegs – and to form some amazing friendships with them. We understand each other; we know what it’s like to feel out of step with the world around us and to question ourselves, wondering what was wrong with us. The truth is that nothing was ever wrong with us, we just lacked the confidence or comprehension to realize that not fitting in didn’t mean that we didn’t belong.
That’s why I’m grateful for the people I do belong with now, and grateful for this platform to connect with other geeks who understand how precious it is to find your people. It is important to give yourself permission to be the person that you really are. You don’t need to like something for the sake of having people like you. You’ll only feel more out of place the more you try to squeeze yourself in an ill-fitting mold. The people I value most in life are the people who are honest about who they are, good or bad, and willing to accept the beauties and flaws of others. Start by accepting the beauties and flaws within yourself.