essay

Fitting in

Do you feel like you aren’t good enough? That you don’t fit in? That you’ll never quite be able to connect with other people? That you are too different?

We all have those feelings at some point or another.

I just moved from a very tiny town in Wyoming to a tourist town in the middle of a whole bunch of national parks. The vibe here is so completely different. I need to relearn how to drive because there are actually lots of people. And traffic. It’s weird.

There are days when I feel like I don’t fit in. People like adventure here–hiking, biking, camping, rafting, whatever. Outdoor recreation is why this place exists.

And I like small adventures, like going on quarter-mile walk and leaving my house. Right now, I only go on short hikes and short camping trips. I do like to canoe, but I still have no idea what I’m doing and I go in the wrong direction. I usually have to force myself to exercise.

I’m surrounded by off-roading Jeeps, river trips through rapids, and mountain bikes–and I suddenly feel a bit inadequate. I’m a suburban-type of person who keeps ending up far away from the suburbs.

But instead of worrying about fitting in, I can be happy with where I’m at and recognize my own talents. Sometimes when I tell people I’ve written books, they seem impressed–but I don’t think it’s really that impressive. I just have a whole bunch of rejection letters and incredibly low sales. It’s mostly a hobby I’m a bit embarrassed about.

I look at people sometimes and I am so impressed with them: taking amazing photographs, or running races, or owning their business, or putting on effortless and beautiful makeup. Or doing all of the above.

But they probably don’t think of themselves that way. Because there is always someone who does more and does it better.

So instead of comparing and worrying about fitting in, it’s a whole lot better to recognize your strengths (you have them–you have a lot of them) and to learn from others and celebrate differences.

I fit in here. Not because I fit the mold, but because I am who I am and that’s enough.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *