“If you’re that closed-minded to only have a certain circle you associate with, you’re just a hamster on a wheel that goes nowhere.” – Julie Droppa
I’ve never been a good hamster, nor a sheep, nor any other animal that runs with a herd, flies with a flock or swims with a school. I have always felt like an outcast, and while it is lonely at times, I can assure you that I never had the overwhelming desire to fit in. I’m very comfortable being myself.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s nice to belong and to fit in. I have that group, they’re called Freaks, and I let my Freak Flag fly! I never did hang out with any one group of people. I had friends in all the usual cliques, the jocks, the nerds, the band geeks, the “losers” (sorry, that’s just what they were called, not that I agree with the label – they are some of the NICEST people I know). I’ve found that a great deal of the most popular people turned out to be some of the meanest people I’ve met. I like to think they somehow cowed their fan clubs into liking them through coercion and bullying.
Grade school… CATHOLIC grade school, found me hanging out with my uncle (4 months older than me), and T and K – all guys excepting myself. The four of us were the tallest kids in the class. Then I had my other friends, even a few girls, but I had more male friends than female – this is still the case to this day, though that is evening out slowly.
Middle and High School found me hanging out with everyone, from all groups and across the grade levels. I didn’t care what group a person was associated with, where they lived or even if they were wearing the latest fashions; good people are good people. I have my Mom to thank for my attitude about people; it doesn’t matter a persons color, creed, sexual orientation or even if they wear glasses. Every person I come across is judged on an individual basis.
The college I went to was big on agriculture, engineering and police science. There was a 3 to 1 ratio of males to females. I fit right in! Most of my friends ended up being engineers, and I have learned so much from them. They might fall into the “geek” category, and they all know that, but they don’t care.
The lack of a tight social circle in my life allowed me to wander into other circles, meet a lot of interesting people and get myself into a variety of situations (not all “situations” are bad, so get over that idea) that I wouldn’t have otherwise gotten into if I’d just played it safe and stayed on that hamster wheel. Free-ranging on the friendship frontier has also helped me learn that there are some things I won’t tolerate at all (Narcotics users need not apply) and that ideas I once held near and dear because they were “normal”, I shrug at now (what two consenting adults do on their time and can live with the consequences is their business – another topic for another day).
This ability to “fit in” despite feeling like I didn’t (and don’t) fit in, has allowed me to develop a chameleon-like ability to blend with the crowd. I feel I can go from grubbing around in the farm fields to attending the opera with no problem (and I have!). I feel sorry for those who are always running in exactly the same circle, day after day. Jump off that wheel! Get out there and meet some new people, different people, people who you wouldn’t normally associate with. You might be surprised as what you find out about yourself and others. You’ll find that you’ll go on a fantastic journey to places you’d not otherwise have gone to.