For as long as I can remember, I have always felt like an outcast. I have never really fit in completely with any group of friends I had. Whether in elementary, high school, or church, I just never really found my place. It's taken me years but I finally understood why around the time I turned 30.
I used to stress over why I never really fit in and constantly wondered why I could hang with friends but after a certain point this "I don't really belong here" feeling crept in. It happened all the time with any group of friends I had. For a kid there is almost nothing more important than fitting in. The foundation of your self esteem (and popularity) is built during the elementary years. Being one of the only black girls in a private school full of mostly sheltered white kids whose parents had money, I never really expected popularity to be in the cards for me. Sure enough, it wasn't! I stood out on my own enough just being black but I also was just a nerd. I was a little suburban black girl who went to school with kids who were never really around anyone black except when they were in class with me Monday through Friday. I was too black for the white kids.
By the time I hit high school I didn't know what to expect. At most, I was just hopeful I would be around more people I could relate to better. And I did, I made friends with more people, and though our small group of black people only peppered the schools population, it was still nice to be around more people I fit in with more.
It wasn't until I went to church that I was introduced to a whole new group of people and I thought that would be a good experience, but turned out to be a complete mirror opposite of my elementary school experiences at first. Now, I was too white for the black kids. I realized that I had to just be okay with not having a place were I fit in.
After the school years you meet more people who also seem to have no one place they fit in and while it's comforting knowing that you are not the only odd one out in this world, it was still no ease on the mind that I didn't and couldn't ever mesh well anywhere. Even now as an adult I still have moments where I feel a little self conscious about being an outcast, but I also feel just as quickly that I don't really care. It seems the older you get the less you care about fitting in because you find that most times you would rather just be alone. Especially after having children!
The more I began to focus on my relationship with God the more He has shown me that I always felt out of place for a reason. I was never meant to fit in because I was created to be set apart. As I learned to accept why, I found myself thanking God that He didn't make me just like everyone else.
I created this brand and this blog for those who felt just like me. I wanted to share not only my stories, but the stories of others who feel set apart. You do fit in. People like us are part of a different kind of clique. Being set A|Part is actually a blessing. Though we may not always like it, the reward is so much greater!
This journey ain't easy, but stick with it- it's worth it!