The Odd One Out

odd one

Yesterday I entered the twilight zone. On a normal day, it would have been like any other trip to the mall, but not yesterday. At first glance everything seemed normal. People were going about their business, walking from store to store.

But as I stood by the counter in one of the shops, I began taking a closer look and soon realized that all the people were far from average. Suddenly there I stood, feeling like an outcast on another planet.

In designer clothing meant for the red carpet, women strutted by seemingly on a mission. Men, in what appeared to be hand-tailored suits and vests talked business as they strode past. Each person had their head held high and power in their step. Confidence and pride filled the air. Everyone was decked out in luxurious attire and salon-styled hairdos, ready for their next appearance down the runway.

Everyone but me. The longer I stood there, the more uncomfortable I became. Soon I began frantically looking around, searching desperately for just one person to whom I could relate; one ‘average’ looking person like me. After several minutes, an older gentleman walked by wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt. Ah finally, I could breathe. I wasn’t alone anymore. Shortly afterward, two more average people passed by.

Fifteen minutes and about forty people later, there were four of us. Four average looking people on that end of the mall.

I’m a country girl living in a big city. I know nothing about fashion, and can hardly match my clothing to form a decent outfit each day. I know nothing about hairstyles, manicures, or spa treatments. Simply put, I feel like I don’t fit in, neither inside or out.

This is something that I’ve always struggled with. Others wouldn’t know it though. On the outside, with the exception of upper-class style, I appear to fit in just as well as everyone else does. I laugh, make jokes, and have conversations with all types of people. Most of the time however, I’m shivering on the inside trying to think of a way to escape.

For reasons unknown, I feel that I can’t relate with most people and therefore I’m uncomfortable when around them, whether they be acquaintances, friends or even family. Ever since I was little, I’ve been that way. The only difference now, is that I’m too old to hide behind my mother’s leg.

What makes people feel like they don’t fit in? Is it that they truly don’t, or is it because they simply cause themselves to feel that way?

I believe that as a product of our own thinking, we can feel distant from the world and like the odd one out. However, if we allow ourselves the freedom to be who we are, and not who we believe others want us to be, then we will fit in.

Fitting in has a lot more to do with how we see ourselves, than how others do. As long as  we’re comfortable with ourselves and confident in who we are, then we can fit in just about anywhere, and with anyone.

Each of us were uniquely made for a reason. We were not meant to be like anyone else. Be you. You are the only you in the whole world.

“There is only one you for all time. Fearlessly be yourself.”

~ Anthony Rapp


This post is in response to the Daily Post prompt Mentor Me.

Life has been one of my greatest mentors. It constantly teaches me how to live better, why I am who I am, and how to improve.

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19 Responses to The Odd One Out

  1. Damn, I’m sorry to hear you feel this way. Then again, I also get those moments – when all the girls are talking makeup or all the boys are talking football (soccer). Or on one of those super-rare occasions I found myself in a shop and the clerks all had very long noses to look down on me. I didn’t fit in in Florida, but Cleveland was much better. Ireland – well, I’ll never be a native but I don’t mind. It’s fun sometimes when people assume I’m a tourist!

    Like

    • mewhoami says:

      It’s okay. It’s not the fault of anyone, but me. Some places and with some people I fit in just fine, but I still feel nervous around them. It’s weird. Like you experienced, there are places though that are more comfortable than others. For me, the country is much better than the city any day. I’m glad that Cleveland welcomed you in, even if they do think that you’re a tourist. 🙂

      Like

      • No Cleveland was great! Ireland thinks I’m a tourist 🙂 Nearly 10 years here now and I’m still the oddity with a fascinating story, it seems. Maybe because I’m still blue-collar but managed the jump over the pond anyway?
        I hope you stop feeling that way. I think you are pretty awesome, for what it is worth!

        Like

        • mewhoami says:

          Oh! Gotcha. Tourist or resident, the neatest part is just being in Ireland. I would love that! I’ve always wanted to go there. Thank you. That is very kind.

          Like

  2. Yes, I too have these moments..especially being in a new place. And then my mind will turn and I can’t imagine how I ever felt that way. It just goes back and forth. I agree with you that alot of it is in our own minds, but I also think there are people out there that go out of their way to make you feel like an outcast at times (i.e. people of a certain means, people of a lesser means, people in a clique or club that you’re not part of, snobby sales assistants at certain places). Just be the best you that you can be and if it’s good enough for you then the rest don’t matter. Eventually, you’ll find your niche, just be true to yourself always.

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    • mewhoami says:

      You are right about how other people can make a big impact too. Some people only accept people who are like them. Everyone else is look down on. I try to stay away from those types of people as much as possible. Fortunately, no one makes me feel like an outcast. I do that well enough on my own, in my own mind. One day I hope to be able to crawl out of my shell and enjoy being myself around others.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jenna Dee says:

    You captured my feelings exactly when you said “For reasons unknown, I feel that I can’t relate with most people and therefore I’m uncomfortable when around them, whether they be acquaintances, friends or even family. Ever since I was little, I’ve been that way.”
    Thank you for making me realise there are other people feeling the same as I am.
    Love to you from Jenna

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  4. I like being me. Lots. But I happen to sometimes struggle with my confidence …..until I remember that there isn’t anyone else being me. 😉

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    • mewhoami says:

      Maybe that’s what it boils down to – lack of self confidence. I’m sure that’s probably it. Now, how would one overcome it? I like that you are you. You’re a great you.

      Like

      • I like this comment. How to over come lack of self confidence? Hmmmm. No quick or easy answer. I’ve been working on it for decades. It’s an on going process. I’m enjoying the progress. I have to stay aware or I slip up. But being aware, I catch myself. ANd thank you, I like me too. There was a time when, maybe I didn’t…. but I didn’t know any better. And now I do. 😀 Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. jaklumen says:

    I have walked both white and blue collar paths, simply to survive. I have some mannerisms that are set firmly in the country, but strong intellectual sensibilities.

    I am a survivor of abuse, particularly within my own family. I had to adapt.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Same here. I grew up on a farm, then moved on to work in high level positions at Fortune 500 companies. I think that most of us walk a variety of paths throughout life and you’re right about adapting. We must in order to survive, but adapting doesn’t necessarily make us feel comfortable.

      I’m sorry that you had to suffer with abuse, but happy that you have seemingly overcome that and chose to live anyway.

      Like

      • jaklumen says:

        I don’t know about overcome per se, but, I am learning and growing in my recovery. Sometimes I have difficulty trusting people, but I appreciate what they have to share and offer. Thanks for your kind words.

        Liked by 1 person

        • mewhoami says:

          After being hurt, trusting others is very difficult, but it’s good that you have opened yourself up here. People need to share their stories so that others (and us) know that they are not alone.

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  6. Glynis Jolly says:

    I know that I’m different from most people. Yet, somehow it hasn’t ever bothered me enough to feel uncomfortable when in public. I just maneuver around all those strange beings getting whatever it is done. Although there isn’t any “discomfort” per se, I don’t like being at family gatherings anymore. Yes, I feel different, but because of that, I’m terrible bored with whatever event it is. All this could be because I’m older now, and just don’t get bothered by what other people think anymore. Or was I always this way? o_O

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    • mewhoami says:

      It sounds like you’ve embraces your differences and that’s wonderful. It sure would make every day life a bit easier and much more enjoyable. I’m hoping that as I get older that I will care less. I’ll be forty in a few years…you’d think I’d be over it by now. 🙂

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  7. LyndaA says:

    Yes, I can relate to this, too. As soon as I start judging, comparing myself to others, or entertaining thoughts about my worth and value being based on how I look or what I do, I’m heading straight to that unhappy place.

    Like

    • mewhoami says:

      I’m sorry that you can relate. It’s not a fun way to be when in the presence of others. I compare a lot, much more than I should. But logic tells me that no one is perfect. That no one has reached all their goals in life. That no one (in my opinion) is 100% satisfied. We’re all different. We all have our own issues. So it’s better to just be happy with who we are and are own accomplishments, than compare ourselves to others.

      Like

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