Anya is a theology graduate, mum of one and a vicar’s wife. She regularly blogs at http://www.thelittlepause.WordPress.com and tweets at @thelittlepause.
There are some people that just fit in. Granted, they might be putting on a front or hiding a quirky personality trait, but generally they can go through life accepting what is in front of them and dealing with each day as it comes. This is the person in the office who can make everyone laugh, or the kid on the playground who seems effortlessly cool. It’s the person who knows how to make small talk and is good at it. It’s those who manage not to over-analyse everything and generally feel comfortable with themselves and with the world. They think positively, don’t question things and, well, cope with life.
But this isn’t the kind of person I want to talk about. I want to talk about the person who doesn’t fit in. This is the person who can’t seem to follow the normal patterns of life; who feels awkward in certain situations and doesn’t know what to do or say. This is the person who feels a sense of discomfort and unrest with the world and can’t pinpoint why. This is the person who can have a bad day when nothing bad has happened. They over-analyse and overthink and get caught in traps in their mind. This is the person who is sensitive, who takes everything the wrong way and gets hurt easily. This is the person who might struggle with mental health problems, not exclusively as there are many factors to mental health, but whose overthinking and loneliness had been part of the journey towards anxiety, depression, OCD etc.
There is a lot written about this second type of person. How to fit in better; how to think in a way that will make you feel happy; how to learn coping mechanisms; how to be normal. All this stuff is great. Personally CBT has helped out a lot. But I want to write something different about this second type of person.
There is something beautiful about the people who don’t fit in. These are the people who see the world differently. They build castles with their minds and imagine what life could be beyond the day to day and mundane. They are the daydreamers. Their downfall is their over-thinking, but it is in their over-thinking that ideas and beauty and truth are formed. It is also their biggest strength. These are the creatives; the people treading a different path. They can look at others and understand them. They can read people and situations beyond what is obvious. They perceive people as they truly are. These are the perfectionists and the idealists; those who dare to dream that the world can be better; who dare to dream that there is more to this rat race that we are stuck in. They feel discomfort because they care. These are the sensitive souls; the one’s who feel so deeply that they get wounded easily. But they love big. These are the ‘geeks’. Those who think in patterns and numbers, those who have a logic and preciseness that can create order from chaos. There is so much potential bound up inside this kind of person, so much insight into the world around them. Movements can be started from their bedrooms; novels written and ideas born into life. Or simply this person can bring a smile to someone who needed it. Empathise with those that are struggling. Help others to understand themselves or say something different that makes people laugh.
They grind against the world and against what’s expected of them. They bumble awkwardly through life, getting battered and bruised easily precisely because they are walking in the opposite way to others. They swim upstream. And it hurts. Being different hurts. Thinking differently hurts. The discomfort in our souls hurts. It hurts to the core when we are mentally sick; when we have panic attacks; when we can’t get out of the fog. Our souls scream. Who knows, maybe I would want to trade all that is different about me not to struggle so much. But this kind of person has a depth that this thirsty world so needs.
And if this is you, I want you to know this. You are incredible. And the world needs you.