3:14am and Fitting In

You know that thing when you are really tired and suddenly things seems really funny or really sad and you KNOW you are overreacting due to exhaustion but you still can’t help laughing/crying maniacally over something super-mundane?

Well, this morning something seems really interesting even though I know it’s the exhaustion talking.

But you get to hear about it anyway.

Two mornings in a row now…TWO…Wesley has woken up at exactly 3:14am with growing pains.

First things first: I know you probably call that time “night” but I wake up most mornings between 4am and 5am so 3:14am is morning to me. And that is a problem because that means I’ve not gone back to sleep either time because…WHY BOTHER? So I’m super tired as two mornings in a row I’ve woken up at 3:14am but also…WHAT IS UP WITH 3:14am? Why is that the WAKE UP WESLEY! time? Why is that FOOT PAIN! time?

And also? TODAY IS 3/14! Does that make it WEIRDER or am I just so stupid with exhaustion at this point that anything coincidental seems like the universe is trying to deliver me a message: TODAY IS THE DAY OF DESTINY AND FATE! DO NOT MISS IT!

I also watched this video in my exhaustion and I love a lot of what Bréne Brown writes and says, but this one just falls flat for me.

I feel like self-help people talk a LOT about this concept of “fitting in” and how bad it is and makes us not be our authentic selves but I just haven’t bothered to do that in like 20 years. Is this not a hard lesson everyone learns in their 20s? I feel like it’s something that happens in coming of age movies and TV shows. Someone tries too hard to be popular, hiding parts of themselves and they’re miserable. Then…one day…they OWN THEIR TRUE SELVES! AND THEY ARE HAPPY AGAIN!

Do adults past 25 still try to fake a part of themselves to get into a social group they are not actually naturally a part of? Maybe it’s because I’m such a loser, but the few times in the last 15+ years that I’ve thought, “There’s a cool group of ladies there, I’d love to be able to chat with them…”- if it has not happened naturally, I don’t keep trying to pursue it. I AM TOO TIRED FOR THAT SHIT. DID YOU NOT SEE THAT I WOKE UP AT 3:14am TWO DAYS IN A ROW?

Is this ONE area I’m actually STABLE in because of painfully learned lessons in my 20s? Is this ONE mental and emotional hurdle I’ve already jumped? AM I A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE BECAUSE I GAVE UP TRYING TO FIT IN A LONG TIME AGO?

Maybe I’m blessed to be surrounded by authentic people, but I think it’s been almost 20 years since I’ve tried to fit in where I can’t be myself. I did that in college a little bit and it was a short-lived DISASTER. I learned the lesson in my early-mid 20s that it takes too much energy and it DOES NOT PAY OFF to hang out with people you don’t really relate to, or to try to be something you are not naturally.

Now I just do not have the energy to be anything other than who I am on that given day. Some days that person is cool and showers and wears clean clothes and talks about great political writers she’s been reading and art she’s seen lately. But most days that person eats a 3 Musketeers and Sour Cream and Onion potato chips for lunch while hiding in her car in the parking deck at the grocery store, reading yet ANOTHER YA fiction about magic before she goes home to catch up on that show about zombies.

No. Not that one. That is the cool one. This girl watches the one on The CW.

Maybe the internet has helped. I’ve made a lot of authentic friends through this blog. Maybe being tired all the time does help because I really do not have the energy. Maybe writing online has taught me to be open in real life too and I’ve just scared away anyone who I couldn’t normally fit in with? Maybe my radar is just finely tuned now and I know immediately whether or not I’m going to naturally click with someone? Maybe I’m just SUCH A TERRIBLE DOOFUS THAT NO ONE EVEN PRETENDS TO LIKE ME IF THEY DO NOT REALLY.

Either way, I’m just happy that maybe there’s ONE area I don’t have to reprogram myself. I have a terrible body image, crippling abandonment issues, social anxieties and nightmare-inducing fears of parental failure BUT AT LEAST I DO NOT TRY TO FIT IN WITH PEOPLE WHO MAKE ME FEEL LIKE I CAN NOT BE MY TRUE SELF!

6 Comments

  • Cheryl

    Personally, I’m with you and the fitting in. Tried it. Way too much energy spent with way too little reward. Thankfully figured that one out early.

    On another note, since I’ve dealt with the night foot pain too, a lesson I learned. Turns out that foot cramping is a sign of severe anemia. Didn’t know that for 10+ years, but when the anemia was finally diagnosed and treatment started, I mentioned that another bonus was my foot cramps went away. Was then told that, “huh, that’s one of the first signs of anemia.” Would have been helpful to know when I mentioned it to my doctor, but too bad. YMMV, but it was one of those life changing AHA moments.

  • yasmara

    I thought I was totally over that “wanting to fit in” thing too until my kids got older & I started seeing the groups of moms who are good friends. Generally, they have had kids in the same classes since kindergarten (my kids have changed schools 3 times), they don’t work (free time during the day to go to lunch, activities, etc…and enough household $$ to pay for it all), and their kids are in the same sports. I experience a vague sense of wistfulness that I will not fit into their group, but usually I can get over myself & find people who I actually connect with in a genuine way.

  • Lucy McConville

    Maybe he just wants some Pi…oh, uh, I mean Pie! Lol…happy Pi day (3.14….) I hope you get more sleep tonight!

  • Beth E

    Please stop calling yourself names. You would not allow your kids to call other people names. You are not a doofus or a loser. You are Kim. You are unique. It isn’t necessary to fit in anywhere. You can still be a part of the group. I am the youngest in the Birthday girls group (all former runners). I was the only liberal in my Grow Group. Now there are 2 of us- both from Western NY. I don’t have kids, but I have been having fun painting and hiding rocks- and it gets me outside and walking. Sometimes I wear a purple stripe in my hair. Sometimes I wear Lularoe tights and boots. I have a tattoo. I don’t act my age or generally hang out with people my age group . Oh well. I am just me. Do you and be proud of it.

  • LC

    In high school, I never fit-in with a certain group. That’s carried over to adulthood and I’m fine with that. I have friends in several different social circles and I like that. I am me and they get what they get. ?
    I cherish your friendship and your uniqueness.

  • Misty

    You know what I love? I read this “I have a terrible body image, crippling abandonment issues, social anxieties and nightmare-inducing fears of parental failure BUT AT LEAST I DO NOT TRY TO FIT IN WITH PEOPLE WHO MAKE ME FEEL LIKE I CAN NOT BE MY TRUE SELF!” and it felt very much like “and I love myself too much to try to be anhybody else.”

    Maybe that’s not what you meant or how you feel – but I for sure hope it is. Because as I read this post today that’s how I ended it for myself in my head. “Lord, I get it. I have all these “issues” (whatever you want to call the stuff I feel like I should try to fix, or at least get better at) and yet I still don’t want to hide who I am so someone else will like me. I’m worth too much for that.”

    So thank you. I needed that this morning. :)_