Fitting In

One embarrassing struggle of mine is when I try to fit into a pair of jeans that no longer fit me when they were a perfect fit on me a few seasons ago. There’s the physical aspect of me not being able to breathe in the black high-waisted denim and the visual proof that comes in the form of a muffin top. But, in this superficial situation, I can simply remove my pants, put on my sweats, and call it a day. Even at the mall, I can try on a bunch of ill-fitting jeans just so I can deny my weight gain in front of a mirror and a sales associate just to be proven 20 pounds wrong. But, clothes are just clothes and can always be altered to fit, and if you’re not stubborn like me, you can just get the next size up.

But when it comes to emotional situations of feeling like you don’t fit in – that you don’t belong somewhere or anywhere –  what’s the solution to finding that “perfect fit”? Is there a perfect fit for everyone? And if there is, do we all get to be lucky enough to find that space? As social creatures, humans belong with other humans. No matter how independent anyone is, I think that we all need to connect with others in some quantity and form. And as creatures of habit, creating a routine consisting of people and places seems to be the first step of many to finding that “perfect fit”.

In college, I felt that I fit in Southern California because I had a routine. I knew exactly when my classes started and ended, when my exams were coming up, and when I had work. I knew I had people to talk to, friends to hang out with, and definite and concrete plans for the next week and month. But moving back home, it all seems up in the air. At the moment, I’m grasping for some kind of solidification that I have a space in Sacramento. What are the pieces that I can hold onto to feel a sense of security and belonging? Or should I not commit and attach myself to people and places because I know I’m going to leave?

Going back to Southern California brings a spectrum of emotions: excitement, wonder, hope, but also nervousness. I haven’t been in my friends’ lives for so long I question if I even belong in it anymore. Yes, you can call me insecure because I am. Like I said earlier, humans are creatures of habit, and once you leave their life, they will eventually be able to get over it, and close that gap where you once belonged or fill it with someone or something else. Sometimes, I wonder, since I’ve been gone so long that, perhaps, should I stay gone? Maybe I should stay in Sacramento? These thoughts and questions stem from my insecurity. They’re notions I shouldn’t succumb to due to my lack of validity in other people’s lives.

But what I forget is that I shouldn’t live by the worries of my anxiety, but live to step out of my comfort zone, and do what I need to do, no matter how frightening or friendless my journey may be. Now, I’m not saying I have absolutely no friends, I’m stating we must be brave enough to do things alone, even when it is intimidating and the results are unknown and unpredictable.

When it comes to clothes, comfort is key. But when it comes to life, the key is having the courage to do what is uncomfortable and unfamiliar. And so the famous quote by Neale Donald Walsch goes, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

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