On Being Different

I have a hopeless way of being different. For instance, I tend towards conservative views, but I’m not Christian. I actually define my religious views as Pagan, but I’m much too pragmatic to fit in with most pagan groups. I like corsets, but I have no interest in historical reenacting, tight-lacing, or BDSM. I’m very passionate about fairies and angels, but I don’t do any geeky things like cosplay or play Dungeons and Dragons.

I realized a long time ago that there was always something about me that prevented me from fitting in with any subgroups, and the idea of changing so that I could blend in better struck me as being a horribly wrong thing to do. Sometimes I feel like laughing at people who describe themselves as being ‘different’, because there are plenty of subgroups that cater to sparkly gay men, or dark gothy women, or anime geeks, or, or, or. But where do the conservative Pagans who don’t like complex board games or role play fit in? Is there a subgroup out there that I’m just not aware of?

My husband tells me that the best thing for me to do would be to make being different my place — be the weird one of the group that everyone loves because I’m so different. That’s easier said than done though, because sticking out can be downright terrifying, especially for someone who tends towards introversion. Most of the time, I end up quietly feeling isolated because I just can’t quite fit in.

Maybe one day I’ll build up the courage. For now, I’m feeling hopelessly different.

2 thoughts on “On Being Different

  1. The most pressure to fit in occurs when you are in high school or college. The older you get the less it matters. I am now in my ’50s and it no longer bothers me. You don’t need to be classified in a group – each friend or person you meet brings/adds something to your individual life.

  2. It’s not so much about feeling pressured to fit in, as it is about wanting to have a group that I can relate to and rely on. I grew up in a religious community that would always pitch together to help members who were in need, and now that I’m no longer in that sort of community, I don’t know who I can turn to for company/babysitting/support etc. I happen to have such an odd combination of views that I can’t just go out and join a special interest group and build a support network from there.

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