Monday, November 19, 2012

The proverbial square peg in a round hole

I make it a habit not to get personal around here but a recent comment I posted on a blog I follow got me thinking and thought I would run my thoughts by you. Maybe you have more insights into this than I do?

You see, I have always felt like I was different than everybody else as I'm sure almost everyone has felt at some point in their life. But I also assume that most people as they grow up find their "niche" in society and either completely conform to the expectations and ways in that specific group or compromise to fit in as best they can.

I'm approaching 37, which isn't ancient by any stretch, but I would have figured I would have found my kindered spirits by now and I seem to have trouble doing just that. The way things are going I seem to become more controversial and different as my knowledge of the world increases and my views are solidified. I do find myself straddling several "groups" due to deep personal conviction and choice but in no way do I seem to fit the norm in those groups and almost none of the groups "go together". But I don't want to compromise my beliefs in order to be a better fit or more "normal".

I don't necessarily mind being different as to some extent I like it and sometimes also thrive on it, it's almost becoming my signature of sorts :) I'm starting to ponder if I just haven't seen enough of the world yet to find my place of like minded or if I'm supposed to be a trail blazer for some sort of new subgroup in society that just doesn't exist as of yet?

My main beef with this different-ness is that it makes for kind of dicey social situations where I'm almost afraid to open my mouth for fear of stepping on toes. I'm lousy at small talk but the weather is almost the only thing I can talk about these days since more and more areas of my life are becoming minefields of potential explosions as I discover new areas and (in my mind) improved ways of believing and living my life. And being a peaceful person at heart it would be nice to connect to people on a deeper level and find that place in life where you just belong without compromise.

No, I'm not some criminal or goth rocker or fanatical nut job as those all seem to have their well established subgroups. But I do find myself an artsy bohemian stay at home mom in cookie cutter southern suburbia, with a more is more decorating aesthetic in a beige and streamlined mid-century modern world, attachment parenting leanings and a firm opponent to spanking in the paddle wielding, cry-it-out Bible belt, a recent believer in the no grain, no dairy Paleo diet in a world awash in processed grains in plastic wrappers. And that's even after the obvious no-no of passionately believing in Jesus and his grace instead of a list of do's and don't's, in the Western world where you're almost considered mentally ill if you believe in God. I won't even mention politics here or I would probably offend every last one of you :) Being a Swede in the States with a name like mine doesn't exactly make me blend in any more, either :)

So, my volatile life choices aside. Have you found your niche in the world? Where you just belong without compromising your beliefs or spunk? And at what time in life did you end up there? I sincerely would like to know.

Oh, what started this thought process? This post by new first-time mom Justina Blakeney where she's asking for advice. I try not to give advice without being asked for it so I took this one chance to give my opinion but found myself almost holding my breath while writing and posting because I felt my views are so controversial. I'm still kind of expecting some backlash from that but so far so good.

I believe we all have the right to be who we are and believe in what we think is right. So please keep any comments civil. I'm going to go hide now.

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  1. Loved your post. Today is my birthday and I've had several more than you, and I've never been normal. There were some years when I was very young that it bothered me but many more years when I got a little more mature and relished it. I'm still happy being me. But, in social or business situations, I do a lot of listening. I took a group processing class once, and the instructor told us if our comment wasn't going to improve the group conversation, then listen and keep it to yourself and that is what I do. Be happy - you are who you are and your family and friends love you.

  2. Be yourself, and don't worry what other people think. I don't "try" with people that I know aren't a good fit, and I cautiously feel out the rest. That is how you find your "people", because they are just like you and just want the freedom of doing the same. Listen more, ask more questions of others, and talk about yourself less. It works. And in the end, knowing more people is worthless, knowing GOOD people, priceless.

  3. I understand what you mean. It's great to be a part of several groups of people, but you still want YOUR people. They are out there. Here's to finding them. :)

  4. Oops, I thought I had commented already - sorry for the lateness! First of all, I love that you feel open to speaking up on the blog - I hope it made you feel a little bit free. I'm sorry you sometimes have to feel like there's no one you can share ideas with...I understand. But maybe straddling several groups isn't such a bad thing? I feel like I straddle, too. Just know you are a cool chick, Titti, and enjoy who YOU are, without reference to any potential critics.


I really appreciate you taking the time to comment because I know you didn't have to. Additional ideas or related techniques are always welcome, the more we brainstorm the better all of our end products will be.
While I try to answer all comments I sometimes don't make it or have your contact info. If you don't hear back from me it doesn't mean I hate you, I just ran out of time (or simply had no way of contacting you).
I wish you a great day!

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