“When is the first (or last) time you felt like a square peg in a round hole?” asks Deb. I dare say the better question is, “when DON’T you feel like a square peg in a round hole?” It would be easier for me to count those times for sure.
In a way, I’ve always felt like an outsider. Even in my own head, I’m not the most popular character. Yeah, the movie about my life? I’m not the lead!
When I was younger, I never felt like I belonged anywhere. By the time I reached 4th or 5th grade I felt even more on the outside because I was already wearing a bra (not a training bra…a BRA) and I had already started my period. Nobody else I knew of was going through this.
In 7th grade I got really sick during Spring Break and lost a lot of weight. I was finally as thin as my best friend and yet nobody acknowledged this. I was still the fat friend. It wasn’t until I switched schools for 8th grade that there were new people who saw me — not as the fat friend — as just me. My best friend didn’t like that and instead of us both being popular, I became the target for her ridicule and cruelty. The one chance I finally had to be just like everyone else was gone, I thought. But I made other friends and we were our own ragtag bunch of goofy squareness. It worked.
I spent high school wondering where the hell I fit in. No one group fully appealed to me or fit me. I had friends from every possible clique you could imagine. And still I was peripheral. Not really belonging. No wonder I managed to get in trouble all the time.
Now that I’m an adult, I look around and see that I’m still very much the sort of person who isn’t going to be the most popular or the kind of woman who will draw the eyes of all men to her. I’m pretty much okay with that, too. There’s something to be said for being an enigma to others. People are curious enough about me that they’ll come closer and spend some time talking with me. We don’t always mesh but that’s okay. At least I get to meet a lot of different people.
The very best part of being different and not really fitting in is that on occasion I discover a brand new friend — someone who is truly interested in me and I in them. Kindred spirits and all that. It’s pretty cool.