Tuesday, December 28

Fitting In: The 3rd Day of Christmas

I stick out. Everywhere I go. Really. Except for the temple, I've never found a place where I really feel like I belong. I go to family gatherings and feel like the black sheep. But then I've felt like a black sheep everywhere - church, school, work, the mission, with groups of friends, even going out on dates with girls who like me. And it's not an in-my-head-oh-no-everyone-is-watching-me kind of sticking out; in my case, everyone (no exceptions so far) around me tells me I'm different.

I realize that "everyone is different," and "there is no normal." But when everyone I meet tells me I'm different, even in a good way. it does more than just highlight my differences. I'm sure they usually mean to compliment some talent or perspective on life... but even so, being different cuts a chasm between me and the rest of humanity. I feel like I can't relate with people, or they with me.

I know that I need to rely on God to meet my needs. I'd still like to fit in with people, though... and feel like I'm one of them - not just an outsider that someone kindly invited to play a supporting role. But I'm not sure what needs to happen... if I need to keep searching until I find the right group to fit in with, or if I just need to change to better fit with the rest of humanity. 


  1. I know what you mean about fitting in; that's something I've had struggles with for years. People haven't necessarily told me that I'm different, but I've always felt on the outside, and not quite "normal" enough to jive with the rest. For me, it took moving to a new setting with a new (and wider) variety of people to befriend, and also time to invest in getting to know each other. I'm still not 100% either, but that was a good start for me. Learning how to be brave and create a niche for myself in a group or situation has also been key. Good luck in the process! We're all in it at some point or another

  2. I have found as I have become more true to myself, I also fit in with people better. It seems counter-intuitive. Suddenly be very open about how different you really are, and suddenly feel like you fit in? But its true.

    I think (for me) its a matter of learning to love myself. REALLY love me. And then be honest with others about who I am, with the understanding that they may not like me. Then when they do love ME, it feels really good. And even if they don't love me, I don't feel so alone or weird, because I fit in with me.

    I have fought long and hard to unlearn all of the reasons I used to hate me. Its been the hardest three years of my life. I hope I don't sound too preachy. What I'm trying to say is, I understand what it feels like to feel like you don't fit. And I also understand what it feels like to feel like I do fit.

  3. Yep, we are all pretty much the same in how we think we are different from each other. In reality, I believe we are more the same than we think. We all feel we are different from others to some degree or another, but only because we too often superficially compare ourselves to those around us. We might want to think we are different only to explain the inconsistencies and circumstances of life. Certainly there are variances, quirks and specialties, but in the end I think we actually share much more in common, both in body and spirit, than we might recognize.

  4. Hey MG,

    First of all since I don't know your name, I hope you're OK with MG as nick name. If not let me know and I'll abide by your wishes.

    Second, I relate to your post. Even when I am among friends and family, I sometimes feel the same as you, like I don't fit it. So here's the little talk I sometimes have with myself. "You are unique. You are one of a kind. Even if you had an exact twin, your spirits would be different. Enjoy the difference, but also be aware of how much we share. All of us on this planet and brothers and sisters. We are all subject to hunger, thirst, fatigue and loneliness. None of us is exempt, but no matter what our situation at any given moment, we have opportunities to respond, not just to react, but to draw upon our God-given talents and abilities and feel the connection we share with the other mere mortals in our proximity.

    Third, do I always do this? Of course not. It is an ideal. But it is worth striving for. Some people may characterize this approach as "fake it until you make it" but that's not what I'm advocating. I'm saying that sharing our authentic and sometimes vulnerable feelings can sometimes help another person and ourselves feel more at ease, more accepted.

    Fourth, at this moment I am sitting in a darkened room. A small amount of light is glowing from my laptop screen. The other light is from the the outdoor Christmas light that are hanging on my windows. I've opened all the blinds so I can see the snowstorm. I am alone, but I don't feel lonely because I know you'll be reading this message later, and although we've never met I consider you a friend.

    Fifth, I know that conditions outside are cold and dangerous, but I choose to see the beauty. The room would be warmer if I closed the blinds, but then I'd miss the beauty of the storm. I hope this finds you warm and happy, but if not, I hope it will brighten you outlook in someway and I hope you will know and feel that you are not alone.

  5. I have been feeling the same a lot lately, you'd think that having good friends that support you and being able to talk to them openly about anything and everything would make you feel better, but for some reason ever since talking to my bishop... I've felt more alone than ever, I have no desire to see my family... I feel good when people are around, but sometimes even when surrounded by good friends I feel like a stranger...

    I think sometimes more important than relating to the people I know is just being there for them... Many times in my life I know I've felt like I can't possibly understand what someone is going through, or they me, It's made all the difference just being there... My friends sometimes think I'm strange just wanting to be near them, but sometimes that's all I want, is to be near and available if they/I need it.

    I don't know how much sense that makes, or how applicable it is in this case...

    And sorry, my real name isn't Damon, I've always liked the name though, if I ever get around to having kids I want to name a son that...


Comment Rules:

(G)MG is how I write to you. Commenting is one way to write to me.

If you want your comment published: No swearing, graphic content, name-calling of any kind, or outbound links to anything but official Church sites.

In addition, comments must be 100% relevant, funny, uplifting, helpful, friendly... well-written, concise, and true. Disparaging comments often don't meet those standards. Comments on (G)MG are personal notes to me, not part of a comment war. You are not entitled to have your ideas hosted on my personal blog. There are a zillion places for that, and only one (G)MG.

And I'd suggest writing your comment in Word and pasting it. That way Blogger won't eat it if it's over the word limit.