I’ve been reading a lot lately about introverts. I think we’re the newest trend. We like to talk about how we’re misunderstood, made to be uncomfortable, forced to live in ways that don’t fit us. This isn’t me pointing fingers, I’m as guilty as the next introvert. I love the articles that explain why we act, and react (or hide in the corner) the way we do. I love having parts of my brain defined in real words that people might understand.
Because it means I might fit in, be understood, matter.
I think that’s what we’re all looking for, to a greater or lesser degree. We want to feel heard, and understood. We want to have all our prickly parts, and worn parts, and scars and warts and bruises to be seen to be told, “That’s not so bad. I can still love you.” We’re all looking for that place that we fit in without being afraid that we’ll be judged for our differences.
For a long time I’ve felt like a fringe girl. I don’t really fit in with this group or that group. Some groups I don’t even really want to fit in with, but I do still want those groups to look at me and think I’m cool. Admit it, you feel this way too. We may be far removed from high school, but all that means is we’ve learned to be more subtle in our social jostling. We’re not so different from that awkward teen just wanting to be part of whatever group we identify with most.
I’m finding for me lately, that maybe fitting isn’t so much about everyone agreeing with or even liking every thing about me, or vice versa, but more about me being able to embrace people for their uniqueness and value them as a soul, not as cardboard cut-outs of my own way of thinking. No, I’m not going to be completely comfortable all the time, lets face it, as an introvert, not even most of the time, but sometimes learning another person’s story isn’t about my comfort. Sometimes it’s about me caring enough to stay uncomfortable until the end and then say, “I can still love you.” Not because we agree, or think alike or live alike, but because fitting in is more about all of us floating around in a great big pool together, some times brushing up against each other and occasionally being drowned in a giant cannon ball, then it is about finding the one puzzle piece whose edges exactly fit my own.