A girl with too many thoughts...

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Not Fitting In & Feeling Isolated

I don't know what it is about me, but I never seem to feel like I 'fit in' when I am around other people. It's really hard to explain, but I just get a sense like I don't really 'belong', if that makes any sense what so ever.

I first remember feeling this way when I started secondary school, at the age of 11. I went to a grammar school, in which you had to pass your '11+' to be accepted (if you don't know what an 11+ is, it's basically an entry exam which determines how smart you are - and if you fail, you aren't considered smart enough, so you get booted off to a different school). To cut a long story short, I failed the 11+.

It's not all bad news, though, because I still got in (through appeal). But I guess this is where the feeling of 'not quite fitting in' started. From the outset, I didn't feel like I belonged at that school, because I didn't believe I was as clever as everyone else who had passed the infamous 11+. Also, as a very quiet person, I didn't contribute much to class discussions. It seems that if you don't feel the need to blurt out everything that is on your mind and shout it from the rooftops, you must just be dumb. So I think it is safe to say, school made me feel like a bit of an outcast...

Next came my first experience of the world of work. In Year 10, we had to undergo two weeks of work experience. I picked to go to a nearby nursery (which I quickly found out really isn't my kind of thing). Once again, I just didn't fit in. Communicating with the staff was extremely difficult, and I was convinced they just thought I was strange - especially the woman who worked in the kitchen (she really hated me, because even after a week, I still didn't know where the trays were kept...the horror). I even felt like the kids were judging me! But that's okay, I thought, clearly working with children just isn't my thing...

Then, when I was 16, I got a real-life, proper, adult job. I was working in a shop which sold designer clothing. It seemed like the ideal job. A teenager, working in a trendy shop, mainly with other teenagers - what could possibly go wrong?! Well how na├»ve was I! It was absolutely shit. Again, I was certain that everybody thought I was weird (this seems to be a particular insecurity of mine). I found it impossible to hold proper conversations with any of my colleagues. They seemed to have a thing about pointing out my flaws, whether that was how short I am, how pale I am, etc. etc. (not good when you are a sensitive soul, like myself). This led me to the conclusion that I didn't fit in there either, so I quit after 7 months.

I've come to realise that I just don't fit in anywhere. I always feel a bit like an outsider, like I'm just standing on the sidelines, but not really getting involved. I'm not particularly good at anything and find it difficult to be myself around people, especially in the workplace. I've avoided getting another job since my last one in retail, but I know I can't hold off forever. After all, I'm gonna have to earn money at some point!

Feeling like you don't fit in leads you to feel very isolated. When you can't express yourself properly to those around you, or you feel 'odd' or 'different' all of the time, you can end up feeling very alone. However, I think it's important to remember that even if you haven't found somewhere that you feel you belong yet, it doesn't mean you never will. There's so much left to experience, so many new things to try, so many more people to meet - you are bound to find somewhere that you fit in.

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