125 posts tagged answers
AggressiveCoconut asks - Hey Chris. I’m 28, nerdy, and feel time flying by faster. I’m at the place in my life where I always seem like the odd man out, and never really fit in with any community or “social click”. Like I should have been born 4 years later or earlier. Even people that have the same interests, see me as not having anything in common with them or as an outcast. Wondering if you ever went through this. I Am I that mediocre to people? Is this just how it gets getting older, or is most of it in my head?
I have been there. By the time I was 19 years old, I felt very much like a wandering soul with a lot of inner doubt. I couldn’t find my community and I couldn’t find peace. I also couldn’t find reasons to like myself. I suffered these questions - your phrasing of it as being mediocre strikes a chord.
I got really lucky. I found the UCB Theater when I was 19 and for the first time found a community of people that seemed like me. Not everyone had the same goals, not everyone had the same pursuits, but everyone was a creative person who had a feeling that there was a reason to be doing what they were doing. I spent so much time early in life doing things that no one else was interested in. Things that were dead ends. I had dreams that were unattainable and even dreaming them felt silly and embarrassing.
I’m sorry you’re going through that self-questioning. I know it sucks. And you’re older than I was when I got lucky and found my way out of it. Here’s what I can say, with certainty, because I am one of those people and I am someone who gets contacted by a lot of those people and I know I got lucky but not everyone found a community the same way I did. I think I see all sides of the coin on this one and I’ll say -
You’re not mediocre. And you’re not broken. And hope hasn’t gone away, not permanently. There are endless amounts of people scattered throughout this world, and a lot of them spend as much time feeling on their own as you do. One of the hardest parts of being prone to feelings of loneliness and isolation is that you don’t realize how many other people suffer feelings of loneliness and isolation. By the numbers, when you’re feeling alone you’re amongst a very large number of people who feel alone. Feeling unpopular is very popular. The others like you are around, even if their own self-doubt makes them hidden and hard to find. They’re out there. We’re out here. I’m out here. You are not alone.
And I will say this - your ability to break this stretch of feeling isolated, of feeling lost starts with you. Don’t accept that you have no where to go and no one to be with. Fight. Find your tribe. Don’t be convinced when the world tells you you’re an oddball and different and that is wrong. Understand that you might just be an oddball and different and that’s fine.
You’re allowed to be you. People are allowed to react to that. And you’re allowed to not take their opinions into account when you sit down and gauge your own feelings about yourself. Your instincts tell you to be who you are, to feel how you feel, to be interested in the things you’re interested in. That’s not wrong. Your parts were not assembled incorrectly.
Maybe you’ll never find your social clique. Maybe the people with similar interests will never completely integrate you into their social scene. It doesn’t mean you’re bad, lesser, or damaged. It means you’re you.
Retain faith in the knowledge that there are other people out there who think and feel and hurt in the same ways you do. And if you let the opinions or reactions of others shake your confidence to the point where your head hangs low, you might miss those people when they pass through your life. Look up. Find them. They’re out there.
You might find them. You also might not. But either way they exist. You do have people. They’re the other people who don’t have people. That’s your tribe. The other weak, sick, lame animals who got sent to the edge of the pack for the predators to get first. We become our own pack.
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