I got asked growing up and still do get asked “how have you turned out so normal?” or another comment that I hear is “you’re the black sheep of the family, more like the white sheep”. I know this is normally meant as a compliment. I used to laugh at it and agree with them. Recently I’ve been realizing though that it can also mean that I feel like an outcast. That I don’t fit in.
It’s been painful at times feeling like an outcast. It has created judgements about myself, like what’s wrong with me? Why don’t people want to be around me? Why am I never invited to go on that annual vacation? There’s been many tears shed and sometimes anger. It’s also been lonely at times.
There has always been this dynamic in my family of don’t tell Erin. Don’t tell your sister and now I’m seeing the don’t tell your aunty. Why? Because I have different ideas, different solutions, different perspectives? Because I actually want to create change and solutions. To share some of my knowledge I have learned. Why are those who are different cast out instead of encouraged to be different and these different ideas encouraged?
Why do we feel like we have to belong, or why do we have to hide parts of ourselves or not be authentic in order to belong? I love having things in common with people but I also love acknowledging peoples differences. I love to celebrate what makes people unique. I love encouraging people to explore new parts of themselves that they never even knew they had. I recently discovered within this last year that I’m great at acrylic painting and I love this new discovery. We always have new things to learn about ourselves if we are just willing to be open, and I love supporting people to find these things.
I’m starting to see that maybe an outcast is someone who can’t be persuaded to not follow their truth. Follow who they are. Allow others limitations to be put on them. Peer pressure has never worked on me either. It felt too uncomfortable to not be authentic to myself. So maybe being an outcast isn’t such a bad thing. I encourage more people to not follow the crowd and join me in being an outcast.
I’ll end this with a quote from 25 year old me “I do what I want!”