Fitting in? Fitting in? Fitting in?

The different connotations in that title are many…

I’ve never been someone who naturally fit in with specific groups….although I wanted to be the popular girl in grade school and high school, I knew that wasn’t me. I knew from a very early age that I was different. I was a fat girl who all the boys and some of the girls made fun of. Like most kids, I took it for a long time, then I blew…and beat the crap out of this one guy…I think it was probably worse for him…being beat up by a girl.

At first, it bothered me, but “I yam what I yam…”

After trying to figure out who I was, and what my place in the world was…I decided that my opinion of me was more important to me than anyone elses.

It was no easy road…In grade 7 and 8, I was into hippy music. I thought that peace, love and drugs were the way to go. In high school, I continued on the same path, trying to find my place. My high school was a very preppy upper middle class school where I stuck out like a sore thumb. I had very few friends, Sue, Carolyn, Heather and Lisanna to be exact. I enjoyed school none the less, because that was the place I could be myself. I didn’t care if no one paid me any attention.

After high school, I was still kinda lost. Did too much partying, and found myself very interested in alternative politics. I had alternatively shaved my head, had a mohawk, got tattoos…all things that made me feel better about myself.

As an overweight kid/teen, I figured if  “they” are going to stare at me, I might as well give them a real reason to. The benefits were twofold…I felt comfortable, and anyone who became my friend was my friend because of who I was, not how I dressed. No matter how I look or the clothes I wear, I am a great friend, honest and caring about the people who matter to me. I don’t give up friendships quickly…I may not like what you’re saying, but I’ll defend your right to say it…(and do something stupid in the process..) I adopted a typical “punk” attitude, staring people down and learning how to deflect criticism and ignorant comments.

 I am at the point that I am comfortable not fitting in. I like having time alone, I like reading, writing and drawing. I never sweat over a blog post or a memo at work. I try to keep things low-key, not always succeeding, but I try. I am open to new things, and new experiences. I am somewhat comfortable knowing that I’ve met the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, and that I’ll have to wait (and learn that dreaded patience thing!)

It took me a number of years…probably 40…but I am past trying to be a cookie cutter person. Why would anyone want to be? If I’m the crazy cat lady when I’m old, I’m ok with that.

Eventually, I will get comfortable with the way my body is…I don’t know if I will ever see it the way others see it, but my view can only get better!

beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

And thank got for that.

Someone told me I was “HOT” the other day. That’s something I don’t believe right now (I am trying to accept that I do look better than I did, and everything is a process after all), and may never…but it sure was nice to hear it. I am always shocked to hear stuff like that…

I have never been one to look in a mirror…It leaves me very open to my own criticism….but yesterday something happened. I didn’t cringe! I thought

Wow, my tummy is almost gone!

…it’s just the spare tire thing leftover!!

That shocked me! I have always been critical of the way I look, hence, I don’t look and there is no criticism. I looked in the mirror when I HAD to! I think I’m looking pretty good. I know I will feel better when I have the spare tire gone…but one step at a time!

Bottom line is this….I can’t ever be what someone else wants me to be…All I can be is the best ME I can be!

So, my questions for you:

  1. Did you ever feel out-of-place or like you didn’t fit in?
  2. Do you criticise other kids for how they look in front of your own kids?
  3. Do you treat people differently depending on how they dress?

I met a lady, a few years ago, that I went to high school with. She was so cruel to me back then…She called me fat and ugly, and embarrassed me in front of people…and I didn’t even know her! When I met her again, probabily in 1999, she was married and had a little girl. The circumstances were, she came through the drive thru at the restaurant I was managing, and then came in for something she forgot. She had locked her keys in the van, with the van running and her baby daughter in the back seat. She was in a bit of a panic. She came in and spoke to me, and asked me to call CAA. The wait was over 2 hours. I told her that I could get in her van for her if she could wait a moment. As we went outside I asked her if she was “Name Omitted” and she looked at me and said yes….where do I know you from?

I told her of my wonderful experiences with her, and how she made my high school years a nightmare. I then opened her car door with a coat hanger, and told her that I hope her daughter doesn’t get treated in school or anywhere the way she treated me.  I think she finally got it…

Moral of the story? You never know who is going to be cooking your food or doing you a favour in the future….walk softly and don’t tread on people’s hearts…


3 responses to “Fitting in? Fitting in? Fitting in?

  1. This was so beautiful Jenn. You blog totally from the heart and I enjoy reading your posts. I was just having a conversation with someone who was concerned about how her physical appearance looked to others. I asked her “why do you care about what a stranger thinks of you?” I dream of a world where we can all love more and judge less – including myself.

  2. WOW, Jenn – you definitely have a way with words! I love that you were given your moment with that girl who made you feel so badly about yourself, I hope she got the lesson but regardless kudos to you for saying something! You are a rockstar for loving you – it is a journey for sure!

  3. Jenn this is such a good post! The second I hugged you in Miami I knew you were one of a kind and that I wanted you to be my friend. Lucky for me you are!
    Anyone who gets to know you even a little bit can immediately see the loving caring person that you are. I have honestly never met someone so genuinely caring. You are a gem and so many people can learn from you. You are just YOU and that is exaclty what makes you so fantastic!
    it is okay not to fit in anymore in my life. I am happy being the weirdo who is to happy, tries to many new things and never sits still. That means I am living and even if it does not fit others idea of living it fits mine and it is a good place.

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