Me, Part Four- I Don’t Quite Fit


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You know that feeling when your pants don’t quite fit right anymore, but the next size down/up aren’t quite a fit yet either? That’s basically my life. Be it my career, faith, friendships, relationships, politics, or anything else, I’m always just the square peg that struggles to fit in the round hole.

Now don’t twist that into somehow feeling bad for me- it’s not like that. My pants are just a little too big now after losing a little weight, so that not fitting thing isn’t always so awful. I’m not a case where I have no friends and am depressed all the time and want to die or something because I don’t fit. I’m just not quite like many of the other people in my life- or any of them. I’ve always had a unique streak that makes things a little off.

I played sports growing up, lots of sports. I played baseball up through junior legion, some little league football and soccer, I wrestled all the way through eleventh grade, and I ran track and cross-country to the tune of seven varsity letters in high school. I had a lot of friends on those teams with me, some of them I even still talk to. I never really was “one of the jocks” though. I would party with each, occasionally, but not all the time with any. I was friends with plenty, but not best friends with much of any. If anything, I was friends with the dudes on other sports teams.

I don’t quite fit in my generation. I am a “millennial,” but I was born on the very front end of the generation, and my musical, cinematic, and comedy tastes are more “Gen-X” than millennial. I grew up on an MTV that played music videos, and where bands still released full albums. I grew up on Nirvana, Green Day, and STP, and think Jay Z and Dr. Dre were far better rappers than anything out today. “Pulp Fiction” is cinematic gold, but Hollywood hasn’t matched it quite since. I still prefer Bill Clinton to Barack Obama, and my politics are far less “millennial” than they are Clintonian. I prefer Jordan to LeBron, and 90s sports to today. I’m not sure what I have in common with my generation, to be honest.

I was in honors classes basically all through school too, but I was definitely not “one of the nerds.” I didn’t do science fairs, took AP classes but not the tests, never studied more than an hour at a time in my life, turned down chances for extra credit, only ever read the news, and was kind of more interested in goofing off in class. Even in college, I can’t tell you I worked all that hard to get through.

Many of my friends now are settling into steady jobs, marriage, kids, and buying houses. I’m basically not checking off any of those boxes. I won’t say there’s tension between us as a result, I’ll just say that there’s less to talk about really, because we don’t get each other as well. We’re living drastically different lives, and i’m not looking to change mine any time soon.

I played in the band at one time. No, I didn’t really fit in there either. Much like with school and sports, it wasn’t the center of my life. Nothing really was. Everything has it’s place, and nothing is the epicenter of it all for me.

I don’t fit in perfectly in my profession. I’m not overly ideological. I’m not seeking passion in beliefs. I seek competency in politicians, which makes me an odd ball. I don’t get worked up as easy. I think compromise is fine, and winning is paramount. I’ll take 60% of what I want.

I don’t fit in as a sports fan either. I criticize my team on moves I don’t like, and defend players who are jettisoned over the coach. I don’t idolize team icons past their prime, and actually want them traded. I don’t always believe “this is the year,” and I say so. I think sometimes you have to boo a player, and if you don’t, I lose respect for you.

The result of all of these “bad fits” can be anything. Sometimes it leads to individual friendships that are awesome and shape me. The other side of that coin is that a lot of situations start with mistrust and doubt. Either way, it’s something I’ve come to accept and embrace. The awkwardness of not fitting perfectly is actually a trait I take as a strength. Fitting too easy is boring, and doesn’t stand out.

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