Monday, February 28, 2011

Being the one who didn't fit in

I've always been a little out of the group.

From a kid to an adult, I just don't seem to fit in 100%.   As a kid I listened to top 40, because everyone else was, but I loved classic rock.   Even now at 32 I listen at Alt rock, even though I am NOT the prime demographic.
On one level you would think that would make me more in touch with my students. But nope.  Every year only one or two students listen to the same music I listen to.

I don't watch too much network TV.  I watch The Office, How I met your Mother, The Big Bang Theory and Glee.  No crime dramas.  No NCIS--- I've tried the show at least 5 different times and I find something really jarring about the characters.

I am the only one of my in real life friends who writes YA and reads it as often as I do.

Lots of times when I talk, people just  stare or nod.

I like anime before it was cool.  I had to take an hour train ride and twenty minute subway ride into Chinatown and go into an underground (literally) mall, just to get a few VHS of Kenshin.

 The simple fact is I don't care about the same things other people care about.  I don't know anything about sports, world events or politics.

I assume these are things that other people understand, because what else are they occupying their time with?

I've had groups where I fit in, a few people who share one or two of my interests, I've got friends.  I'm not a total social reject. 

But I spend a lot of time wondering what's going on with the rest of the world.

This is why I teach middle school and why I write YA.

I'm not an outcast but I'm an observer.  I know what it feels like not to fit in.  Not to fit in your own skin, your neighborhood.  To always be a little confused about what the people around me are talking about.

Mentally I never left middle school.

High school is still interesting to me.

College seems like a lifetime ago.

And honestly that's exactly how I like it.


  1. There are many parts of this post that are my sentiments exactly. I am a middle school teacher and a writer ... maybe there is some sort of "demographic" after all ;)

  2. I love this Erinn. I think your observations show in your writing. and I think it is a gift for a writer to feel like they don't fit in (or is it nobody feels they fit in, and the others are just faking it?) Still, I think it's critical for writing.

  3. Wow, you're sharing my story, Erinn! I'm the black girl that listens to alternative music, which my friends and family find very odd (except for Quita--I think that's why we're so close). I also work at a middle school (counselor) and LOVE reading and writing YA. Forget everyone else--we'll start our own group. :)

  4. This seems to be common among writers. I always felt like I didn't belong too, even around my best friends. It felt like a façade.

  5. I love the idea of being an observer. Taking it all in and then sharing it with the world. I think more people feel left out than who are willing to admit it.

    Great post!

  6. I think most people would share your feelings, they just don't like to admit it. I know in my teenage years and twenties I felt a little odd and not quite in with the crowd. I felt self-conscious and different, and I worried about it far too much. Now, I don't care half as much. It is okay to be different. In fact, celebrate your uniqueness!

  7. I agree with Ellie. Most people are trying to figure out who and what they are supposed to be. Sounds to me like you are more comfortable in your own skin than you realize. That in itself is an achievement.

  8. Loved getting to know you better~ thanks for sharing more about your incredibly cool, totally-you self :)

  9. I have moments where I feel like I don't fit in. I had more of them when in middle school through college. Now I sort of embrace what makes me unique and hang out with people that "get" me.

    Thanks for sharing this post!

  10. If there weren't several states separating us this instant, I'd be giving you a gigantic hug in solidarity.

  11. I'm not an outcast but I'm an observer.

    Every great writer ever has been able to say that. It's part of what we are.

    But the fun part is, there is a 'we.' Always got your back girl. <3 You're absolutely kick ass and you know it. (;

  12. I'm similar. Folks say how quiet I am when we first meet. Because I am observing before I speak.

    With writers and astronomers I fit in. They're a cool crowd. :D

  13. I think that's pretty much me right now. :D That's why I go to a hippie school. :D