A lot of people don’t feel like they fit in. I’m no exception. My family and I moved a lot when I was a kid, and no, my dad wasn’t in the military, he just got moved around a lot with the organization he worked with. We finally settled in Georgia in 2000 and I didn’t think the move would be any different from the other ones. I’d be the new kid again. I’d have to find a new best friend, again. I’d have to learn the ins and outs of the community, again. But what I didn’t expect was that my family would stay in Georgia for so long, and that I would come to feel like such an outsider. Since my family moved from Illinois, people “down south” thought I talked funny and asked weird questions about the civil war and I didn’t know the answers to them frankly. None of this fared well to a 14 year old who was still trying to find his place in the world (not to mention a new town). Instead of adapting, I decided it was better that I wished for an escape. Another move was imminent; after all my family never stayed anywhere for more than a few years.
But that move never came.
I graduated High School, and decided to go off to the far away state of Tennessee for college. Surely removing myself from the place of confusion would bring me peace. It kind of did. College allowed me to grow up and mature in a safe environment far enough away from my parents that I felt independent, but close enough that I could still visit on weekends if I wanted to. And yet even through my four years of college and year of living in Knoxville afterwards, I still had the nagging sensation that I didn’t belong. I didn’t belong in school, with my group of friends, in church, with my housemates or anywhere in the city. I didn’t even feel like I fit in with my girlfriend. I had to escape again, so I moved back in with my parents because I was jobless at the time, and shortly afterwards broke up with my girlfriend to try and “find myself”. I found a job, and became anxious with itvand quickly left it for another one. I wasn’t at that one long before I was let go due to a lack of business. My circumstances weren’t helping me feel anymore accepted than the day that I moved to Georgia. I knew I had to leave again. I didn’t fit in there but surely I would somewhere else. I ended up moving three more times before I finally landed in Southern Indiana and signed a lease in 2012 ensuring I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere for at least a year. And it’s there where you’ll find me today. I decided I was tired of running away, and that it was time to settle down. Not only physically but emotionally. Because I’m “stuck” where I am, I have had to learn to adapt. I’ve also learned to accept myself.
There was nothing wrong with me to begin with. I just have always had a hard time hard time adjusting to new situations, and a big part of that was because I didn’t like myself. But when I realized that I am basically no different that anyone I started to gain self-respect.
And after I learned to respect and love myself I began to feel like I fit in with others. It was never a matter of where I lived; it was just a matter of how I looked at myself.
Written and loved on by Alex Weiss