I am very unique. So unique, in fact, that I don't feel as though I belong to any one group.
In all aspects of life, I've always felt like I'm a slightly different breed of person compared to my peers. I've always been the "laid-back professional" guy, or a "too formal at a casual party" person. I'm a little too smart for dumb people but too dumb for smart people. A villian with a warm heart, or a hero with a cold one. It's as though, either by subconscious choice or a natural inclination, I'm incapable of just being a regular, stock character. There always has to be some defining quirk that makes me, me.
This innate desire to stand out, I believe, makes it difficult for me to find a place to fit in. It's a frustrating thing, to almost be part of something, but being just different enough that it doesn't feel right to identify as that thing. All throughout life, I've been told to find a place to fit in and have seen people constantly finding a place to call their own. From the first group of friends you made in kindergarten to the current social life (or lack thereof) you have now, we've all wanted a place to belong. In order to belong, we have to have a degree of similarity with the group we seek to join, and the more similarities we share the strong our bond. It's similar to what we look for in potential partners: we're attracted to what's similar and familiar because it appeals to us. In the dating game, we often try to probe and find out what the other person likes and is passionate about, then attack at that point in order to make us seem acceptable. However, we can't be too similar. Having a partner that's exactly the same as you are gets stale, boring, and frustrating after a while. A team full of similarly minded people will never grow, and a country completely in unison will never challenge itself to grow better.
This intricate dance between sameness and difference is a fragile one, and its not uncommon to see a single difference be the deciding factor in finding your group or being lost in thoughts, all alone. this difference could be anything, from a direct clash of ideals to a varying degree of intensity or ability. It's kind of like a developing violinist. In the early stages, they can play the violin, but aren't good enough to be a violinist.
I enjoy playing games, but I've never considered myself a gamer. My blood is Filipino, but I dont really feel too close with the Filipino community wherever I go. Helping people is something I like to do, be it with some physical task or a more serious life talk, but community service and being a professional counselor have never been my thing. I don't have a strong political preference, I'm a funny guy but not funny enough to be a comedian, a piano player but not enough skill to be pianist, a guy that can do martial arts but not good enough to be a martial artist.
Not enough. Not being enough is something that every single person that has ever existed has felt. So many times do I and many others feel like what we're doing and giving to the world is not enough, yet we're too afraid to call out and tell people that "I need help!" We hold back our desire to ask for assistance because we don't want to accept that, even at our best, we aren't up to par. Reaching out for a crutch is synonymous in our society with failure, or being a failure, and we've been conditioned to avoid this feeling like the plague. Yet avoiding failure is impossible. No matter how much we try, failing something is inevitable. The only way to avoid it is to not try at all, but in that case you've already lost.
Usually I like to end these articles with my take on a solution or philosophical food for thought, but in this scenario i find myself with a lack of comment. I myself have no solution or even a place to start thinking. It's a rather curious sensation, not having words when you usually have a thousand is both humbling and terrifying. So I turn the question to you, my reader: How does one handle or cope with not being enough? How should we react when faced with a goal that seems infinitely far, or being told by our peers that its foolish to pursue that dream? What do we do when we're at the crossroads of "should" and "must"?
Ooh, that's an article for another day.