Often, I feel like I don’t fit in anywhere.
That my mindset and choices are too varied for a homogeneous crowd.
That I am better off with people who have no inkling to bend me to their will or judge me for who I am.
I feel this sense of not belonging never really goes away, because following a crowd and wanting to prove that my life or relationships are a happy success is not ever going to be on my to-do list.
So, what can I really do to be peacefully different and secure?
In my experience of late, all I have to do is drown the voices of the crowd and listen to myself first. We forget to actually act on our needs and preferences, because we give to much importance to society at large.
I have innumerable examples, more than I can even count, of how I’ve always listened to the needs of my authentic self—this always came at a cost.
I have lost out on connections with family and friends because I am not “traditional enough” or “public enough” about the events in my life.
I have lost out on being included in occasions or gatherings, because I am too independent in my ways.
As I was going through my early 20s, this aspect bothered me quite a bit; fear of missing out and the anxiety of explaining my choices did take a toll on me. But now, as I will soon enter my 30s, I realised that it’s not all that important to give heed to what people say. It is definitely not a good option to follow the crowd and do something out of fear of being shunned—most definitely it is not alright to live a life of “copy and paste.”
I am a firm believer that anything we believe in, we should go through with: the risky job, the bold dress, the relationship that gives you joy, the lifestyle that gives you peace.
Definitely the cost of being different is people and bonds. But the real gain here is to have genuine relationships that stick with you despite your choices.
And the biggest bonus will always be: being yourself and living your one life your way.