I Just Don’t Fit In.

Via on Mar 18, 2013
Source: via Kathleen on Pinterest
Source: via Kathleen on Pinterest

As I was driving home from a function the other night, I couldn’t shake the familiar feeling bubbling inside of me. Although it was a new group of people, it was a situation I have lived over and over again.

I’m not a fan of big crowds or parties. I feel unsettled when I am surrounded, when the fog of people overtakes my ability to see the horizon.

Take me to a bar, and you will find me sitting at a table toward the back, watching. That’s what I do, I watch and I wait. I’m always open to talk, to share, to listen, but I wait. Someone approaches and we sit and have a conversation, in which I listen and support.

When I got home that evening, I wrote this:

I just don’t fit in.
I just don’t.
I never have and I never will.
To fit in, is to blend in.
To blend in is to be ordinary.
I was never meant for ordinary,
I was destined for extraordinary.
How do I know?
The extraordinary never fit in, ever.

I reread this several times, and every time I read the line, “I was destined for extraordinary,” my stomach turned.

Who do I think I am, calling myself extraordinary? What am I? I’m certainly not ordinary; I know this for certain. 

Accepting greatness is painful. It’s a process. It goes against everything we are taught to be—humble, quiet, unassuming, self-deprecating. We are taught to get along with others, be a team player, be a part of the group.

Yet, there came a time when I knew this was not my lot in life—to just fly under the radar. I knew from a young age I was different—I was great.

This greatness comes with a responsibility. Acceptance of the greatness within causes a shedding, a withdrawal from everything that isn’t extraordinary—that includes people, things and life’s circumstance.

Extraordinary sits alone at the lunch table, at the desk at night, on the porch contemplating.

That’s okay. I would rather assume the responsibility of not fitting in, so I may stand out and be heard.

This recent night out, reminded me of the first time I felt this way, that I felt my extraordinary difference: I was two and a half years old.

I was giving my hands a bath in the sand box of my daycare playground. I felt something wedged in the hard soil beneath the sand. I dug with both hands and pulled a small figurine of a girl from the earth. I examined it like an archeologist. I can still picture the etchings on her face and dress. The figure was hollow inside, with just enough space for a finger.

“A finger puppet!” I distinctly remember thinking, “I remember these,” with the same nostalgic rumination of an 80-year-old woman (in my two years, I had not seen a puppet like this).

I waved it in the air, attempting to gain the attention of the other children. They glanced in my direction, before turning away in disinterest. They were too busy dumping sand over their heads.

I couldn’t understand why they didn’t want to share in the excitement of my discovery, and relish in the beauty and rarity of this treasure.

This experience at two years of age, laid the foundation for my life.

I sit and watch people dump sand over their heads, every day. I observe them; sometimes I join the hail storm of dirt for a purpose—so I know first hand and I can relate to their experiences.

~

In every crowd, in every group, in every situation something begins to ripple inside of me—the questions.

Why? Why am I here, in this group? Why do they believe what they believe? Why do I believe what I believe? What is the purpose here?

The questioning has led to learning, to seeing, to understanding.

Being an observer has become my work. I can recognize in an instant, the ones who hate the sand, the ones who love it, the ones who don’t know why they are doing it, but don’t know what else they would do or where they would go, and the ones who do it so they aren’t lonely.

I have come to accept I was never meant to fit in, so I can be here—I can be the person who offers support and others know right where to find me. I can connect and relate completely.

I use the example of a lighthouse on a shore. The lighthouse never moves. It does its job, lighting the way for the boats to find their way home.

Image is Credit Rights Geir Isene
Image is Credit Rights Geir Isene

What would happen if the lighthouse was in constant motion, shutting off its power source whenever it felt like it?

Some of us are meant as boats, and some as the guide for the boats. The lighthouse is not a boat, it would sink if it tried to be, yet without the lighthouse, the boats could not see the land in order to navigate home and dock safely. When I’m at a function, or a bar, or anywhere, I stay still. I don’t fit in on purpose,  in order to be the lighthouse.

A while ago, a woman approached me and began to tell me how a daily inspiration I had written months before, had touched her and helped guide her in a decision. This person I did not know was standing in front of me reciting what I had written.

I was taken aback for just a moment and then comforted, validated—not fitting in was actually standing in—standing in who I am is extraordinary.

That night as I sat at my computer alone, I wrote,

 Be the voice, let others be the echo.

I am the voice of my playground, the lighthouse of my shores. There are many of us, the archeologists of the playgrounds and the lighthouses of shores all over the world, guiding boats home, to their own homes.

I don’t fit in. I never have and I never will because my voice needs to be heard, my light seen so that I may help illuminate the ocean and remind you,

You have your own voice, you just need to listen to it, and in the process you will light yourself up and see, you are extraordinary too. 

~ Rebecca Lammersen

 

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Ed: Brianna Bemel

About Rebecca Lammersen

Rebecca Lammersen is the founder of Yogalution, a donation based yoga studio in Scottsdale, AZ. I love being alive. I love being a mother. I love teaching yoga. I love to write. I love to know. I love to not know. I love to learn. I love to listen. I love to read. I love to travel. I love to dance. I love to help. I love to serve. That pretty much sums me up. Check out Rebecca's website and her articles at The Huffington Post. Subscribe to Rebecca's feed and never miss a post!

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38 Responses to “I Just Don’t Fit In.”

  1. Carolyn Riker Carolyn Riker says:

    I absolutely love this and resonant with your words. Thank you for being extraordinary because you are.

  2. Jayleigh says:

    Thank you. I also don't fit in. I've been told recently that just my presence is powerful, that when I walk into a room people can feel it. I feel that this gives me a responsibility to be present as just who I am, to be my self that may not have to do anything but radiate, because I have a great capacity to affect people with my calm strength.

  3. peach says:

    great article, a tribute to each person's uniqueness and your honesty.
    you're a see-er.
    just wondering how you can be so, and function healthily in a relationship – do you mind explaining the challenges?

    • Thank you. Good question. Well, I am closely connected with only a few people. They are my confidants, my supports–my friends. I have known many people to come into my life quickly and leave just as swiftly. I have accepted there will always be this ebb and flow as I offer my support. When others receive what they need (as I receive from them too) they leave. I tend to stay unattached to almost all of my relationships for this reason. It is very easy for me to release friendships that do not serve me. If I don't feel the relationship is working in either of our benefit, I will end the relationship or allow it to drift away with no yearn for its return. I know that some friends who have been on the receiving end of my disengagement, are hurt by my withdrawal, even though I knew it was best for both of us. If you are asking about challenges in romantic relationships, I find comfort in having a partner, in the intimacy created with someone who sits or stands beside me. My challenges are like any other person in a couple, although I do need a lot of space, being I am an introvert and an overly sensitive one. I need time to be alone, decompress, create, think–whatever it may be. Most of my partners have understood my needs and have supported me, fully. I hope this answers your question. Thank you for asking Peach! ~Rebecca

  4. MrChokey says:

    I knew I was "abnormal" almost immediately following my first contact with "society" at the age of 4. I was told at the age of 5 that I was "unpatriotic," and would grow up to take "dope pills," (both prophetic). But by the time I decided it was "cool" to be "extraordinary," I was in too much of a hurry to learn what the ordinary in life and human interaction has to teach. Now, having successfully avoided a pointless and ordinary life, I draw near the end of a life that was extraordinarily pointless. I learned a lot though. It's for sale now cheap, I have nothing left to sell.

  5. Tui Anderson TuiBird says:

    Having discussed this very same feeling with my intuitive mentor this week, I get where you are coming from. I even get the lighthouse analogy. I went for the 'lookout up the ship mast' analogy instead, but similar concept. Having an 'overview' perspective, a big picture concept that kind of divorces you from the every day, keeps you separate from, well, just separate.

    I did get some challenges on this that made me think though… I still believe in my position, but I love these questions:
    - What if everyone feels this way? What if we are all unique? Perhaps our uniqueness is not that we are unique, but that we can SEE it?
    - How does this feeling serve me? How does it not serve me? What is the kickback I am getting from this feeling? What would happen if it were not true?
    - How can I create a feeling of belonging without losing my feeling of uniqueness?

    No answers yet, but I think I am going to keep hanging out up my lookout mast. I am considering inviting some other people up to visit sometimes. :)

  6. Angel says:

    Thank you!! This is amazing, thank you so much. I needed this.

  7. Allison says:

    Thank you Thank you. You put a lightness on my heart. And I'm sure there are more people imaginable that feel the same way.

  8. I have written pages and pages in journals and margins since I was able to write, many times trying to capture this same feeling, but never quite being able to articulate in this way. Thank you for this. I am extroverted but struggling to find purpose and substance in the connections I must make for the sake of my professional life. I've found that it's entirely possible to be surrounded by people and still FEEL like I'm in a corner, watching, wondering why, asking questions that aren't coming out of my mouth.

  9. jcc says:

    It is almost eery how similar this is to things that I have written. It is almost disconcerting to feel so similarly….because if those of us who feel this way were all in a room together, would we still all feel like we don't fit in?!… I think TuiBird expresses a similar sentiment. It's fascinating to me as well.

    Regardless of how we feel about fitting in, I think it is nice to know that there are some kindred-spirits out there.
    Thank you for writing this and sharing it. I honor your lighthouse. :)

  10. jcc says:

    It is almost eery how similar this is to things that I have written. It is almost disconcerting to feel so similarly….because if those of us who feel this way were all in a room together, would we still all feel like we don't fit in?!… I think TuiBird expresses a similar sentiment. It's fascinating to me as well.

  11. Daniel says:

    I understand exactly how you all feel. From a very young age I have always been different, felt very much different from the rest of the human race, and told quite often how different that I am.

    I do not consider myself a genius of any sort, I have a tendency to be very astute at anything abstract that happens to catch my eye, but there is no definitive way to recognized exactly what that is going to be. I keep waiting, and eventually something comes my way that I thoroughly am interested in and enjoy. I was an average student in high school, perfect student in college but i was more mature by then, and realized the importance of learning. I really havent accomplished too much in the world, I dont put much value on money so i have never been financially successful.

    When I was younger (38 now) I did most things that the rest of the group did, but I was constantly off to the side, watching and observing how everything went down in a particular situation. Over the years I have grown quite efficient at predicting their actions, and even the words of other people. To me its really not that difficult, most people act in an extremely predictable way. A good rule of thumb for me has always been that people will generally choose the most self centered thing possible. People are all consumed with themselves, you can see a part of narcissism hidden in every thing that they claim to do for others. I have enough wisdom to realize that I also act out of narcissism as well, or else I would not be able to survive in this world.

    When I compare myself to a great majority of other people, I have noticed so many differences to the extent that I feel like a total outsider. I am totally alright with whatever makes other people happy being their goal, but I have trouble seeing what people are really getting out of it. If you watch trends on television, you get an idea for what the majority of the population is interested in. The rationale being, that if it didnt sell like wildfire it wouldnt be on television. I cant believe some of the things on television, it blows my mind.

    It is quite hard to explain exactly. Of course I am eccentric per the general population's standards.

    I do not buy in to the bible, but it seems like everyone else does. I guess I look at it like mindless reality television that is nothing more than formless drivel to fill up the extra space in peoples minds. I have seen the utter hypocrisy that comes with most forms of religion, as a grew up in a southern baptist town, which is where I got most of my detest for religion. I watched so many people not practice what they preached, and still do, to the extent that I feel very strongly about staying true to your nature.

    When I talk against religion, I see the horror in other peoples eyes, and feel their shock and disgust. I am puzzled by this, because it never occurred to me to care that much about someone elses opinion.

    I suppose I have always been efficient at reading other peoples minds and body language. I dont really prefer to notice any of it, but I cant look away. After a conversation with someone I have them summed up quite accurately, If I pay close enough attention i can give someone a pretty good interpretation of their life without knowing them personally. I normally dont bring anything up but when I have, people get upset and deny everything, which is actually an admission of what I have ascertained about them. Ive often felt that it goes further than body language, I tend to feel other peoples emotions when I am simply standing near them. You would be surprised at what you can put together by just being aware.

    Anyhoo, I am really looking for like minded people. I am about to give up hope. I have searched for so long and cant seem to find anyone. Some people get close, they are generally the very liberal cross section of society.

    Just to add, I dont consider myself to have a mental disability nor have I ever been diagnosed. No autism or the like. I consider myself to be a pretty happy person most of the time. Just a heightened sense of being which I do not know exactly how to utilize.

    • theempath says:

      Hi Daniel,

      I do understand. I'll just say this…as someone who experiences the same "reading" of people very quickly, there's no need to tell anyone what you see/feel/know about them. People uncover things about themselves when they are ready and EVERYONE wants to feel special so stripping them of their feelings of uniqueness and mystery only hurts people.

      Over the past few years I've learned to take that understanding of each person and use it to listen in a way that they need in order to feel heard. It means using different language and mannerisms with each person based on their current way of understanding. I've found that using my abilities for good (in this respect) makes me the person that people confide in – even if they don't know me well. Sure, it means I'm the person in the background who nobody ever really considers a friend or invites out to play in the sandbox, but I play an important role that makes me feel that I'm doing more than just summing people up and turning my back – I'm trying to help.It feels a lot better…as long as you don't expect any kind of recognition for it. ;)

  12. @BatesFred says:

    I rememba…being 7 or so and playing in a large sand box. As my classmates built churches and roads, I built a t
    "temple unto me." though I was having fun and knew better, an old friend of mine who is now a retired police detective, laughs at the memory of me building this temple. He remembered me building a road to it so the town's people could come to worship me. Reality? My parents were Hellers and I was likely joking around then due to low self concept. Hey, it's never too late to build a temple to myself. I wonder what the town's zoning boad will have to say?

  13. Tigger says:

    Beautiful, powerful, and deeply moving…it's OK to be different. Being mundane is more difficult and smothering. LIVE!

  14. Lotus says:

    I enjoy most of the articles here but this one…not so sure. I'm all about self-empowerment and shining your light, celebrating you but this (and some of the comments) feel a little too….egocentric?

    You are so 'extraordinary' that you feel the need to stand alone, separate yourself from other people? Please forgive me if I misinterpreted that incorrectly. You 'knew' you were 'different' to other people when you were 2.5 years old? That, other kids were the typical, ordinary kids, dumping sand over their heads while you sat there being a 'special' kid?

    Lovely that you realize how extraordinary you are but…everyone is extraordinary. Yes, even the kids who dumped sand over their heads. Even the people who 'fit in'. You don't need to separate yourself from the 'ordinary'.

    We are all connected. We are all made of the same stars. We are an Awareness, walking around in a billion different bodies, thinking we are each more special than the other….that we are 'different from the rest'.

    Apologies if I sound contrite or offend. This article just smacked of ego and 'well, if you do say so yourself…'

  15. Lotus says:

    By the way, I was always someone who hung back and observed. Also an introvert. So, I get that part of it. I don't get placing oneself one a pedestal, apart from the 'ordinaries'. There are no such groups.

  16. Monkey says:

    Hey Rebecca… I'm another one of these… and I enjoy the lighthouse analogy.

    And also now I am starting to innerstand that to truly step beyond into the extraordinary means to step away from the polarisation of our identity to one or the other.

    As someone who has watched from the side, often in loneliness, sadness and frustration…. I am seeing that to grow is to embrace that which I think I am not.
    To get in and try out what it's like to dump sand on my head sometimes… to participate fully in the dance that is life regardless of my position in it.

  17. Fran says:

    Thank you for this. The comments are also great and there is a sting of recognition in all of them for me.
    I have always been different.
    Very few friends, which does creates sadness but when I am in a crowd and meeting all new people I find myself not having anything in common with them and my interest quickly fades. There is no connection and thus no new friendships. It brings sadness, but when I step back and look at myself and tear loose the connection I seek with others to identify myself, I see myself. And I see greatness in the way I see things, and in my achievements. The few friends I have are the same kind of people and this is interesting. The hard part is to keep developing it :) It can get quite lonely at the top.

  18. Judy says:

    If a lighthouse looked in a mirror, it would be very severely blinded. Be careful!

  19. maz says:

    Headed for a fall if you believe your own mythology.
    Now lets hear from the so called normal and those that fit in.

    • Judy says:

      I read your comment when you posted it…and since then there have been several times that I've told myself "Headed for a fall if you believe your own mythology"– whoever you are, you got in my head and I think I needed you there, so thanks!

  20. So beautiful and I resonate with it so much. From one lighthouse to another I salute you xx

  21. Jen says:

    Self love is one thing, but all I got was this is someone who really puts themselves on a pedestal. You don't fit in on purpose? That sounds pretty average. You think you are extraordinary? Einstein and Telsa never claimed to be extraordinary. How about some humble pie! Were are all made if star dust, and everyone is amazing in their own way. Try seeing people for their individuality and uniqueness instead of deeming the person who fits into social situations with ease as "ordinary"…

  22. dalesdelectables says:

    Simply. Wow.

  23. Lee Massie says:

    Thank you for putting into words, what my heart, my soul, my very being has been telling me my entire life. I am a lighthouse. I shine so that you may see. :)

  24. alf says:

    If god could whisper a message to any thought, idea, belief or agenda that may steer you, or that you may be driven by , it would most likely be show consideration and kindness to all things and everyone, then that is enough.

  25. Tina says:

    Thank you for reminding me of what I've always known and thought all along! I wrote a similar blog post during my earlier years of 'myspacing.' Love your style, your depth, your focus and your voice. Reading some of your articles reminds me of my contemplative pieces that I've sort of left in the dark and haven't yet revisited! Definitely gives me inspiration to start writing again :)

  26. guest says:

    Very helpful and well written. The feeling of not fitting in overwhelmed me tonight and your words were a brilliant tonic.

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