I remember when my son was young, whether he was attending a new school, going to camp, or joining a team, the number one question people would ask is “How are you fitting in?” He quickly came to hate that question, and for a young teen I found his reasoning for that to be quite mature. To him, standing apart from others was far more important than fitting in.
Does “fitting in” mean assimilating the behaviors of others in that environment? Is it conforming to a certain style of dress, the way you talk, learning in the same manner? When and how do you discover if you “fit in” anyway?
Everyone is different and each of us should embrace our uniqueness, no matter how peculiar some may find it. Perhaps that’s someone’s opportunity for discovery rather than ridicule. I once overheard a coworker comment a person’s name was strange. I guess the name didn’t fit in with her limited cultural exposure. I asked ‘Strange to whom?’, then suggested she learn the origin of that person’s name so she would no longer consider it unusual. Like some say, “If you don’t know you better ask somebody.”
Be yourself and let everyone discover who you are. Standing out [in a good way, of course] makes a more memorable impression. Fitting in really shouldn’t be on anyone’s measuring stick for accomplishments.
©2017 CSNelson, dontforgetthehalf