So…You Don’t Fit??
It’s amazing how powerful writing can be. At times I find it quiet cathartic. But, I have also experienced that same freedom through music and prayer. Its all very much body, mind, soul and spirit at times and words simple cannot interpret the moment.
It was one of those random moments whilst looking through my phone on a well known social media network I saw an update for Emelie Sande ,who I really like. I clicked on it and I listened to this track by Rudimental featuring Emelie Sande – I absolutely loved it and when it finished it literally propelled me into a place of reflection, where I remembered a difficult time in my childhood years. Random, strange, but true.
Peer Pressure at the time for me, took the form of coercion, direct and indirect prejudice, sexism and other avenues of pressure which flowed more like an invisible undercurrent around you at the time. There seemed to be a gulf or divided world that ran between child and adult in school. And of course the adults were totally oblivious too it. Like a lot of children for whatever reason, I never told my parents anything about my difficult days at school. Mainly because I knew I was expected to look after myself so I did the best I could at the time.
School can be one of the toughest and cruellest of places I think, and whether the teachers had a clue of what was going on, I have no idea . But, the fact that nothing was ever addressed by the teachers, meant the experience for me was difficult at times, as it was for other kids, and nothing ever changed unless you changed it. The undercurrent affected you for many reasons, mainly on the things that formed your identity, those things that made you unique but also the same things that would connected you into a wider group i.e. looks.
I was different, and my challenges were born out of the fact that I was seen as different and I did not fit in. The undercurrent existed on three levels, colour, being female (and your looks), and being perceived as smart. Three very different dimensions which brought their own challenges, and as a young child of around 9, I had to devise the best way for me to survive, when the need arose. I gained some friends, but any popularity was for the reasons others had shaped for me. I learned to fight, simply because I had too. Rank or having some kind of reputation helped to bring a strange level of piece, because fortunately for me, not to many girls wanted to test the ultimate boundary of putting their fists where their mouth was too often. Secondly, I learnt how to be funny, because I realised a quick mouth saved many a situation. But the one that had the biggest and longest impact was my reaction to being seen as bright. To stop the whispering and snide comments I chose to ‘dumb down’. I decided to stop asking or answering questions and moved myself out of any lime light and avoided anything that put me in the front where I would draw attention to myself. That attitude stayed with me for a long time, and it took many years and many things to weaken the thinking I had acquired and to rebuild my confidence levels.
I have come along way since those younger formative years. It was through my faith and understanding of who God is, that I grew to appreciate myself and reached a place of loving myself for who I am. Not an easy journey at all, but an invaluable one. I recognise that as much as I know choice is the most powerful freedom we have now as an adult. I remember that as a child in the midst of peer pressure when you are not as clear in your development and mentally defined in having a sense of who you are, how difficult it is to be happy when you find yourself in the position of, not fitting in.
We all have our past to work through, Does Your Past Own Your Future? The place to get to is a position of peace and embracing the freedom and all the possibilities opened to you now, regardless of past challenges.
I use my knowledge and experience of the past as a strength now, in order to better plan my future as well as share with others in order to encourage and empower people along their journey. People love to ask that question if you could change anything what would it be? I say “nothing”, because in changing one thing in my past I would not be who I am today.
As an adult I still have times when I don’t fit. But I realise that there will always be situations that just aren’t for me, so this is ok. Because I am happy with me whether I am in a group or by myself, how I feel about a situation is always in my control. It is important to find that place where you can be you and you can find freedom in that acceptance. its also important to find that place where you can sore and excel in doing what you do best. This may take time and perseverance but its worth finding.
I hope you enjoy the clip, and I hope you find that place of true freedom and loving who you are:-)