When You Don’t Fit In

I grew up watching the series “Everybody Hates Chris”. It’s a very interesting series, in which everyone seemed to not like him, why? Because he was not like everyone else. He was different. By different, I don’t mean being gay or not liking the sex or body you are in (whatever that means). The kind of different I am talking about is your uniqueness! That character that sets you apart from the rest, that makes you hold your head high in confidence and say “I know who I am!”

Growing up, I used to think that there was something wrong with me. My supposed ‘friends’ didn’t seem to understand me, I wasn’t the kind of kid that made friends easily, I was picky about the type of people I wanted as friends and everyone just assumed I was a snob. Pink was not my fav colour, the few female friends I had couldn’t relate (stereotype much!).

One day, I had to sit myself down and have that kind of conversation only you can ask yourself. What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I just fit in? Why wasn’t I just like Amanda and Fatima? I was mad at myself for being unable to pretend and just go with the flow, (deep down I hated small talk and aimless conversations, I still do). I always found myself zoning out during our supposed girls talk and wishing I was somewhere else and not there and that would normally piss them off.

For all these things I blamed myself, it took me not until my university days to actually realize that nothing was wrong with me, that, in fact, I had wasted precious time dumbing myself down just so I could keep certain friends and belong to certain cliques when I could have invested that time in bettering myself by finding my own kind of crowd or better still, enjoy being myself (lesson learned). I am sure a lot of us can relate, so here’s the gist…

As Christians, it is not unusual to be judged as different. You are always going to encounter situations where people will make incorrect assessments by virtue of what you represent. You will not fit in, you will find it difficult to just go with the flow, you will lose friends and people who don’t know you will dislike you for no reason. That’s not for you to worry about.

Where I come from, there’s a declaration we make that says; “I am an influencer, I am an authority, I do exploits”. It’s not just a mantra, it is a way of life, it reminds us of what we represent. The people who influence e.g. Oprah, Beyonce or Michelle Obama (apologies to Kim K fans lol) and the likes, did they settle? No! Why then should you? Rather than whimper and feel sorry for yourself for not being accepted, here are a few facts I need you to understand about being unique: You will be tested, but this test will help you build resilience and the courage to take being judged and to keep trying. It is in this process that you will improve and be tested again until you are able to be yourself and put your ideas out into the world.

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