I’ve perfected the art of not belonging.
I knew as much working my last flight to London. One thing about being a flight attendant that I like is not working with the same people every day. In theory, it minimizes the risk of drama and conflict. In reality, it’s still possible that you won’t necessarily click with every one of your colleagues.
Outside the Clique
In my case, I didn’t ‘click’ with my coworkers on this particular flight. I didn’t share their sense of humour (or its vulgarity), any of their interests or their tendency to complain. Maybe I was a little boring and too serious for them. But I was just me. Besides, I don’t consider it a career as much as a side hustle. The flexibility and time off let me pursue my passion: writing. So, I show up to do the work with a focus on excellence.
What did that earn me? Mocking and ridicule. A flashback to junior high and high school when I wasn’t one of the cool kids and didn’t belong. But I never took the bait. They may have laughed at my expense, but little did they know that the joke was on them.
The Spirit of Not Belonging
Because I’m a loner. Always have been and make no apologies for it. I realized a long time ago that I didn’t need anyone’s permission to be who I am. Totally comfortable not belonging because I’m more than a loner. I’m a dreamer and I’m working hard to make my dreams come true.
And these colleagues have helped to amp up my motivation to work harder and become better. The experience also reminded me that I’m not prepared to settle for an ordinary and routine life. If life is what you make it, I’m determined to make it grand.
Not belonging is perhaps the universe’s greatest gift to me. Because I’ve found my path. And every day I’m living out my calling.
Do you ever feel like you don’t belong? Click Reply to let me know. I’d love to hear from you!
Yes, I’ve felt like I don’t belong. There was a time when this caused me a lot of pain. I wanted to fit in somehow.
Life is a great teacher, though. As you go through different experiences, you get to know yourself better. Then, you realize you don’t need to belong. I think you worded it perfectly: “I realized a long time ago that I didn’t need anyone’s permission to be who I am.” Once you’re aware of this, you’re free to live your own life.
Great blog post.
You’re so right. Life is a great teacher. The more we get to know ourselves, that’s when — I believe — we’ll understand why we’re here and what we’re meant to do. And with that knowledge, we can just be who we are and not worry about fitting in.
Thanks for sharing and have a great day!