Fitting In is Overrated

Dear 15-year-old me,

Fitting in is over rated.

Yes, you read that right.

Fitting in is over rated.

You think you want to fit in with everyone, because you feel lonely and out of place. You think people don’t like you and don’t want to hear what you have to say because you’re nothing like them. You think you’re being watched like a hawk for everything you think you do wrong. You’re not. You think you’re invisible. You’re not.

Your inner voice tells you that you don’t fit anywhere. Your inner voice tells you you’re not one of them and you don’t belong anywhere.

Here’s the good news:

Fitting in won’t get you top 15% in your class.

Fitting in won’t get you that scholarship, that book deal, or those great boots you love so dearly.

Fitting in won’t get you that job in Japan 10 years from now.

Fitting in won’t get you your master’s degree, because fitting in at your age (and a little older) means more friend time and much less nose-to-the-grind book time.

Fitting in won’t keep you away from trouble. Fitting in won’t keep you in good relationships with both your parents. And bonus, fitting in won’t give you time to spend with Gramps before he dies.

Fitting in didn’t get Walt Disney anywhere, he built an empire instead.

Fitting in didn’t get Lucille Ball anywhere, she dyed her hair bright red and shot for the moon. And she got it.

Fitting in with some groups means treating others like dirt, and that’s not who you are.

Fitting in means sarcasm and complaining instead of praising and changing.

You think you’re not doing anything right because you’re not like any of them. Honey, you’re doing everything right because you’re nothing like them.

You have your own mind. Your own thoughts. You have the courage to live yourself out and even though you might be afraid to do so, real courage is blasting that fear out of the water and living it out anyway.

I know you’re scared. And I know other people’s words can make you want to cry. They’ve probably already made you cry. And you feel weak, alone, and helpless. But you’re not. Here’s how I know that:

I already know you win. I already know you love your life just a couple years from now. You’ve made the right friends, you’ve invested in the right relationships, and your choices will come back to serve you ten-fold as you experience life in a way that only somebody not fitting in could ever experience it.

Surround yourself with the people who are building you up. Surround yourself with people who aren’t fitting in just as much as you. Let those people teach you about who you are. Because they accept who you are. And let the loudest voice be yours, telling you from deep within, “Fitting in is overrated. I’m better than that.”

Because you are. You really, truly are.

All my love,

(soon-to-be 30) me

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