You know, I’ve always felt like an outsider. I guess I mean that in any kind of large group, I’m never one of the “cool kids”. I’m talking about places I frequent, where I interact with the same people repeatedly. At work, at the gym, other groups I interact with – I’m not saying I don’t have friends. But inevitably, I feel like I’m outside of the central dynamic. Or there’s people who I admire and like and want to spend time with, but I can’t seem to break into the circle. And I honestly have no idea why or how I can bridge the gap.
A few questions come to mind. Is this in fact, the reality? Or is it just my perception of things? And does that even matter, if regardless of the truth I still FEEL outside of things? I have noticed that as I get older, I’m less bothered by it. When I was younger this feeling could destroy me, make me feel like I was worthless. Now, I’m not always sure I want to be in with some circles, though I might still eye them and even be a bit envious of the bond they share.
I also find myself wondering if the dynamics really ever change, and what they mean. In middle school, didn’t cliques primarily ban together to protect their own fragile self-image? And as adults, are we much different? I know that I surround myself with people whose company I not only enjoy, but who make me feel good and appreciated. Perhaps to those who sit slightly outside of my own social centers, I am part of that “in group” and they feel like outsiders. I think regardless, I’m learning to be less concerned with being accepted by everyone. There are some people who won’t like me, and there will be people I don’t like. Not because I’m bad, or they’re bad – but because we’re just too different. Or too much the same.
Anyway, though I’ve been feeling a little on the outside lately, tonight I spent an evening with some folks among whom I really feel easy and comfortable . And I’m grateful to have the warm embrace of close friends near at hand.