Fitting in?

by shelbyisrad

Another busy day (which may have been because I accidently slept until 11:30 and did nothing this morning), but I mentioned on twitter writing a journal about fitting in for my English class. The prompt pretty much was ” Where have your tried to fit in? and what have been your struggles?”

And Here is my journal response (had to be at least 500 words, which is a lot of reading compared to my normal blog post length so I understand if you just skim)

As I was contemplating this journal I realized that my entire life as much as I could remember I always felt like an outsider. I remember many times attempting to fit in, wishing my life and background were different so that people would accept me or I would feel more comfortable. Even as a child having to explain that I didn’t have a real dad, just my mom’s various boyfriends I remember feeling shame. I remember wishing at night that I would wake up and everything would be different, my dad wouldn’t have left and that my family was more normal.

As time went on my mom entered a semi-stable relationship with a man and ended up having two kids with him. I thought ‘now we will be a family I can say I have a dad’ but being one of four children (I also have an older brother who has a different dad) and none of us looking alike I had to explain our different fathers, and once again felt like an outsider wishing my skin wasn’t so fair or I had brown eyes more like my brother.

Then we moved, my older brother and I, away from our younger siblings because our mom and their father could not function without fighting and their relationship fell apart. Soon after that my mom left too, now I was living with my Grandparents and never knew how to answer all those school surveys that always ask for ‘mother’ and ‘father’. I never attended the father/daughter activities, and I started to dread Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. I always bought gifts for my grandmother and grandfather on those days but I always wished I was buying them for my Mom and Dad.

Coming to college presented even more places where I didn’t fit in. I didn’t party, or drink, heck, even curse words made me cringe. My faith in Jesus was more important than getting drunk and partying and I knew there would be few that understood. I found a group of friends who were all like me I thought. But I soon realized I was even an Outsider from them, they all had grown up in good homes with loving parents and once again I felt that childhood shame of saying ‘I don’t know my Dad’ or  ‘My Mom left us’. Luckily my group of friends loved me despite these things, in fact they encouraged me saying things like “You are so strong and brave” and “You are really stable to be from such dysfunction”; and while those things helped I still struggle with feeling like an outsider. Though I am learning that I don’t have to fit in to be happy, I am happy being different, being a misfit ragamuffin. I have learned to be comfortable with who I am and be proud of my background. Because through it I learned to be brave and independent and I know with confidence that while I mat not always fit in, I can be happy being myself.