For as long as I can remember, I have always felt like an outsider. One of those sad little wall-flower people, looking in through the window at the cool kids, hanging out, laughing and sharing inside jokes. It’s a cold and lonely place to be.
I remember being on the outside during high school. I was friends with some of the “in-crowd” but never fully accepted. Same thing happened in college. Again, at my jobs.
And OMG, don’t even get me started on the book clubs I have tried!
The common denominator in all of these situations? Me.
Maybe my insecurities have stopped me. Maybe my shyness. Maybe my self-esteem (or lack thereof).
But I know I have something to contribute. I *know* I do. I’m smart. I’m funny. I’m creative. And yet, I still hover around the edges, hoping someone will smile or say hi or take me under their wing, and help me be more comfortable. Am I just having flashbacks to the mean girls in high school?
I recently joined a group, ever the optimist. They have been together for a good amount of time and are well established with each other. I joined because I support what they do for the community and people in need. But at times, I feel like I’m stepping into a rushing crowd with no idea what’s going on. So I either get out-of-the-way or I get trampled. And, there I am, on the sidelines again.
How do I get over this? Give me some tips, please! I have been thinking about leaving the group already (it’s been a few months now). They will go on and continue to do good things. And I will feel like I have failed. Again.
So I ask you: Does it ever get easier to fit in with an established group?
How do you know when your tastes have changed? How do you differentiate between a new interest or lack thereof and a mood swing?
I’m not one of those people who can say “I don’t watch TV” and look down my nose at others while I say it. I watch TV. And most of the time, I like it. I find it a good way to relax and to just chill out with something mindless. After 8+ hours at the Gas ‘n Sip, I just want to let someone else do the thinking for a while. And while I would love to come home and turn over all responsibility to someone else, I can’t do that. The Wonder Twins *insist* that since they don’t have opposable thumbs, they can’t *possibly* help out. What they can do? Look adorable and prance in front of me looking adorable. Le sigh.
I have a bunch of shows that I record regularly. The problem? Lately, I find myself less interested in the “standards”. I loved NCIS, L&O SVU, CSI, Burn Notice. But lately, I just cannot take the violence and blood and gore. The inane ability for the main characters to come across all the C4, explosives, guns, etc at *just* the second they need them? Or that OF COURSE there is a car, unlocked, with the keys in the ignition just there. It makes me seven kinds of stabby. Come on.
But, what is it? Is it because my tastes have change? Or is it because I am feeling the need to change EVERYTHING in my life? Should I make that commitment? Or should I change things more slowly so as to not freak out?
How do you know if you are changing or just being impetuous?
If you are of a certain age, you will remember when computers were new and shiny and scary. When schools had “computer labs” rather than providing 5-year-olds iPads. When mobile phones in cars were something special and *gasp* had cords.
Now? Almost everyone has at least 1 computer, 2 phones, an e-reader, or some combination of this. Buying a computer for your child is not an event; it’s almost expected.
So, what brings on this rant?
As a corollary to my previous post of looking for beauty, I feel like I have become hyper-aware of the constant barrage of media stories about celebrities and politicians who think they can get away with things and act “surprised” when they get caught.
I cannot watch the news – local or national. I’m sure I’ve written about this before. I just cannot do it. The constant reminder of all the horrible things that go on in the world – what’s that saying? “If it bleeds, it leads”? Um, no. There *are* good things going on in the world. Babies being born, weddings, medical advances, estranged families finding each other. Really. Happy events occur all the time.
Obviously, horrible things *do* happen. I’m not living in a fairyland bubble where everything is rainbows and glitter. I just get to choose what I am exposed to.
Now, here’s where the love/hate part comes in. There is a headline today about a judge, caught on video beating his disabled daughter. My first thought, other than the obvious disgust and horror, was “Who the hell would put that on video and put it on the Interwebs???” That was quickly followed by “Thank goat someone DID video it and exposed this monster!” I will not now, or ever, watch the video. It would make me physically sick, I’m sure. Nor will I put a link to the story. This “thing” is (hopefully *was* at this point) a judge, tasked with the duty of deciding the fate of the people in his court. My heart hurts for his daughter.
Another example is the ocean of information we get about celebrities. Who is dating/marrying/divorcing/having dinner with whom. I know many celebrities court this notoriety and call the press to let them know where they are. I cannot imagine living that life. Luckily, I will never have to.
I follow celebrities on Twitter. I read some magazines (NOT tabloids!) about celebrities. Just as I am looking for new blogs to read, I have changed my taste in magazines as well. I am just as susceptible as anyone else to checking out who is doing what over there in Hollywood. But, jeepers! Leave these people alone! I don’t need to see stars grocery shopping. Or going to the dry-cleaner. Nor do I need to know every. single. move. they make throughout the day. The celebrity that most recently “announced” her divorce after 2 months? Now we get to hear every. gory. detail. Over. And over.
Technology is fantastic. I love my laptop. And I would be lost without my phone. I get my exposure to world events online. Some of my favorite people in the world? I know them from online. Exposing horrible people so that they will stop doing what they do? Good thing. Holding a magnifying glass to every facet of life? Could go either way, quite honestly.
I could never see myself “going off the grid” as they say and giving up technology. I can’t change it. But I can change my attitude about it. I can change how much I allow myself to be exposed to. I can turn off the “bad” things. And I can surround myself with the glitter and rainbows.