Tuesday, 20 August 2013

When I'm Wiser & I'm Older

The concept of “fitting in” is something that I’ve never really understood. From my earliest days I always marched to the beat of my own drummer, and the people that I looked up to were not ones who took the easy way out. They figured out what they wanted and they fought for it, irregardless of what the rest of the world thought. I may not have known who I was or what I wanted (that takes a lifetime to figure out), but I was never willing to go along with the stablished social norms.

In grade school I was the girl who was friends with the boys, and got into trouble because I wouldn’t be friends with a rather snotty little red-headed girl. I spent my lunch hours walking circles around the grounds with my best friend and talking about Star Wars. We had a private club, and it was awesome.

In high school I was the girl who listened to Green Day (before American Idiot made them a socially accepted band) and dressed in plaid skirts over jeans. I spent my lunch hours reading books, and it never bothered me that my group of friends were considered the rejects. We were the Bench, and we let our freak flags fly.

In university I was the girl who never turned in her assignments late because of a party weekend. I had them done 2 weeks early, and I partied anyways.

In the first city that I moved to I was the girl who wasn’t a vegetarian, an environmentalist, or a hipster.

In the next city I was the girl who wore colour in a world washed in conservative neutrals.

Where I currently live I’m the only one (apparently) who doesn’t hike, bike, or ski.

Yet none of this bothers me, because I am living my life the way that I want to. Many people over the years have tried to convince me that I should be living their way and interested in the same things as they are, like I’m doing something wrong by making my own choices. What I don’t get about this recurring situation is why people feel the need to peer pressure someone who is different and obviously happy in their difference from the world. Sure, expanding my worldview and finding new interests is great, but sometimes their peer pressure (yeah, I said it) comes off as condescending and judgemental.

Why all the judgement people? I may not believe in being a vegetarian, but do you see me going around peer pressuring vegetarians into eating bacon? I may think they’re a bit nuts (because bacon is delicious), but their life choices don’t affect me so I really have no choice but to accept them. Do we all really want to make everyone like the exact same things as us anyways? Life gets a lot less interesting if we’re all carbon copies of eachother, because then the debates stop (the healthy kind, not the peer pressure kind) and our minds start becoming stagnant.

And when it comes down to it, no one really fits in; humans are all different, even if it’s just in the details, and the sooner we all start accepting each other’s differences the sooner we can start celebrating them. 

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