03 December 2009

Quote Me

I was going through my old drafts, and I found one from the end of August with this quote:
"Why are you trying so hard to fit in, when you were born to stand out?"
I'd started the post by keying in the quote, but that was as far as I got. I can't even remember where it was from. I just Google-ed it and was led to sites like these, which included the quote, but no source. I IMDb-ed it and got this. I don't remember watching What a Girl Wants, but I like Amanda Bynes, so it's a possibility. I'm not sure if I got it from that movie, I obviously liked that line.

It's funny how we focus so much on blending into the crowd. I'm sure I work harder at that than most people, but not many people want to too far from main stream society...We may be unique, with a flair, but for the most part we fit the American form (which, I admit, is broader than most other cultures' may be). But in high school/teen years especially it seems people really are "trying...hard to fit in." Why is that? I know that I did it because if I can blend in, I can avoid being noticed. I hate unwanted attention. I never know how to react. I need time to process things, and that time is never given in social situations. Maybe my desire to avoid notice shows that I was not one of those "born to stand out." I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing either. You need the rest of the "boring" crowd for that one funny person to be funny. You need the audience to have a show. Most of the time I am more than happy to be the audience. But sometimes people do it because they want to be accepted by the "cool crowd" (at least that's what the media tells us), which may indicate some social need going unmet (I think I've already bored-I mean- blogged enough about psychological needs.)

But there are people who really were "born to stand out." And some times these people need to be reminded of this. They need to be reminded that we love them no matter what they do, so they will feel comfortable on the stage. When we were younger, my older sister's friend was living with our family for a little while, and she seemed to understand this. She was always fun and outgoing, but she recognized that my brother was longing for a spotlight too. In his lack of understanding, he would try to "fit in" but was really annoying. My sister's friend noticed this bothersome behavior and would sing "(insert name here) needs attention; (name) needs attention." At which point we would all look at him, he'd tell his joke, or do his trick, or whatever it was he needed to get out, and then he'd be fine and we could go back to whatever it was we were doing before. That's all it took. He needed to stand out a for a few minutes and then he was okay. I have a friend now that I do that to. Generally I'm not so obvious about it (at least I try not to be), but every once in a while I cannot resist the urge to sing "(Name) needs attention. (Name) needs attention." And after he's had his time to "Stand out" we get back to whatever we were doing before.

This has turned into a different topic than it started out as, hasn't it? Oh well, Let's just follow the stream of thought and see where it leads us... I think it's sad that some people work so hard at fitting in that they forget that everyone is unique, and that's a good thing to be. Then there are others who are working so hard to stand out, that they forget that it's okay to blend in a little. I knew someone who was so anti-conformity that sometimes she actually did the opposite of what she wanted to do, just because she didn't want to be like everyone else. While I can respect and encourage individuality in a group, I also think it is important to follow your internal compass, instead of trying to avoid the paths of others.

I guess the thing that ties these random strings together is this: You shouldn't worry about what the people around you are doing, but rather strive to live your life according to what you know to be true. You can change if you see something you like in others, but these changes should come because you want to behave that way, not because you want to behave like them.

I guess I will have to try harder to be okay with who I am, so that I can stop worrying so much about what my reaction should be, and just act. I need to realize that the world doesn't revolve around me, so if I make a mistake, that's okay. People probably weren't paying that much attention to me anyway. I need to realize that the slights I perceive to be against me, don't really matter unless I let them. Whether or not they are aimed in my direction, I should have the inner strength to be myself in spite of others. I need to change because I want to improve, and not because someone told me to. I can understand being an example, and there are always people who look up to (or down on) you without your knowing, but really, we shouldn't worry so much about that. If you are living your life to make yourself happy with who you are, that stuff will work itself out.

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