My friend Delia’s screen saver is The Origin of the Solar System Elements. Not her adorable son or her handsome hubby. Nope. The Origin of the Solar System Elements. Do you think she might have a rainforest mind? Delia loves fractals and is fascinated by the Mandelbrot set and the Oort Cloud. She reads voraciously; Virginia Wolfe is her hero. She is studying Zen Buddhism and practices yoga and meditation religiously when she isn’t in some sort of Jungian analysis or other introspective process. Her capacity to write fiction has always captivated me. Delia is a deeply sensitive, introverted soul with an enormous heart. She would tell you her brother is the gifted one and that she never fit into her family, her school, or her community. Maybe not even into this world. Can you relate?
But, maybe fitting in is over-rated.
Certainly, I understand the appeal. We all want to be loved, to be understood, and accepted. We need to belong– to a family, a clan, a community, a world. Of course we do. It can be lonely being the outlier, the misfit, the weirdo. The lover of fractals.
But what are the benefits of not fitting in?
Well. Here are my answers. I think each of you will need to come up with your own, based on your particular life. So. For me: If I do not fit, then, I do not have to worry about impressing anyone because people do not know what expectations to place on me. I do not have to pretend to love camping or to start running marathons. (These are things you have to do to fit in when you live in Oregon.) I can carve my own career niche. I can gain the fine reputation as the eccentric but lovable auntie and I do not have to send anyone to Harvard. I can be as creative as I wanna be. I can let my hair unravel. I can be a little irreverent when I write blog posts. I can live life on my own terms. And, of course, I can create my own clan of beautiful outliers (that would be you) where love, sweetness, and fractals flourish!
From the quirky, gifted, outlier actress, Janeane Garofalo:
“…If you behave in a manner pleasing to most, then you are probably doing something wrong. The masses have never been arbiters of the sublime, and they often fail to recognize the truly great individual. Taking into account the public’s regrettable lack of taste, it is incumbent on you to not fit in.”
To my dearest bloggEEs: I know how painful it can be to be left out and misunderstood. I mean, that is why I am here for you. But maybe you can come up with some benefits to not being quite so pleasing and not part of the masses and their “regrettable lack of taste!” Let us know the benefits. Much love to you, my darlings. (And thank you to Delia for letting me describe her.)