Friday, 29 May 2009

Fitting In

Last saturday, I took my dog for a walk along the local canal towpath. This time of year is just so abundant with lush growth along the path and I was trying hard to identify as many of the plants as possible. Nettle and Cleavers are very profuse at the moment, as is Hawthorn, currently in flower.

As you walk along the towpath, to one side you have fields, woodland and serenity, but to the other, over the water, you are on the edges of a modern 'upmarket' housing development. Some of the houses are OK looking, but then you come to the apartments.

Looking more like soul-less offices than places to live, they sit uncomfortably opposite open fields, a testament that people can use bricks and concrete to build over nature, but the beauty and the soul are missing. In an effort to make the place 'chic' there is water flowing between some of the buildings - the noise it makes is quite loud, perhaps to distract people from what is really happening around them?

I read a blog post yesterday (Into The Hermitage) which struck a chord with me. Rima, the blogger, is leading an 'alternative' life - currently on the road and living in a converted horse box with her partner, she paints and sells her wares wherever she can. She attended the Small World Festival, which as she says, is a 'gathering of hippies'. In a place where you would expect she would 'fit in' perfectly, she found she did not...
Many of the conversations we had with people made no sense at all. People mostly didn't really want to buy pictures, cans of beer abounded, and people staggered around the site until well past dawn.
I do not judge people's need to celebrate or escape, just the brutishness with which it is done sometimes. It made me feel like I was hiding from school bullies again. It made me feel like I do not fit in, in the very place where an onlooker might assume I would.
From Into The Hermitage by Rima Staines
It made me realise that I don't fit in either. I am trapped in what looks like suburban normality, yet I don't belong here. But I also don't think I belong with the alternative set that I once thought I did. I am different, I am unique, I am searching for something, or somewhere to 'belong' to.


Herbaholic said...

Martin, I've only just read this post, I totally empathise with you're feeling of not 'fitting in' in your life. That's been the story of my life since childhood, I have never tried to be different, I just have always been on the outside of the inside. My light bulb moment came about 12 years ago, I was trying so hard to fit in, and be what everyone thought I should be that I was drowning in waves of others and never being myself.

In the end what I did was stop trying to find somewhere to belong, you belong where you're own heart is content. It's up to others to accept who and what you are, if they don't they miss out. Don't torture yourself, just be! Sure you'll hack some people off because you're not being a sheep and doing what convention says you should. Carve a place in your own heart, relax and breath. We're not supposed to 'fit in' that's where everyone's going wrong, we just need to be true to ourselves, sanity follows, trust me!

Herby Hugs - Debs

Hawthorn said...

Hi Debs - thanks so much for your comments. Until I was in my mid 20's, I very much followed the path that had been laid out for me. Since then, I have felt different and yes, some people get hacked off and think they 'know best'. The problem for me has been that for many years, I've looked for something else to fit in with, but never found anything quite right.

Like you mention, I'm coming to the realisation that I don't need to copy anyone or fit into any 'box' - I am who I am and need to be comfortable with that.



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