A few years ago I attended my matric class’ 40-year reunion. I went more out of curiosity than the need to reconnect with folk or revisit the passages we’d walked.
I didn’t have any bad memories of my school years, yet I felt like a fish out of water… I didn’t necessarily belong.
Looking back now, I think my reservedness was part of my inferiority complex; everyone else was smarter, more beautiful etc.; I coped by playing sport and reading books.
Why did I feel out of place? I wasn’t an academic nor could I go with the crowd. As I grew older, I found my place, and I discovered my passion and purpose and gained strength in my voice. Although this might seem small and insignificant; until such a time that I had found my voice, I didn’t know what career path to follow or how to spend my time constructively.
I discovered I was extremely driven and ambitious. That I loved people, working as part of a team, but also as a supporter. I found that if I followed my gut all would be good. Being an outsider served me well. I got to observe and understand people better. It also taught me I don’t have to take the busiest road; the path less travelled is never as crowded, and far more interesting.
Getting back from my reunion I realised that I was not the only outsider; several others felt the same. The people I thought had everything going for them, actually didn’t. The folk we had least expected success from had achieved the most.
I came to realise too, that although I felt so uncomfortable in myself, I had been accepted for who I was. That was incredibly comforting.
Why do we always try to fit in to conform to a specific mould? In my opinion, no growth and development can take place here. Accepting yourself, being true and reaching for your dreams allows you to achieve your goals.
“Having a sense of purpose is having a sense of self. A course to plot is a destination to hope for.” Bryant H. McGill