So many people think that being an outcast is the result of rejection. Generally, outcasts spark the emotion of pity in people. However, I'm here to tell you that being an outcast isn't always a bad thing. In fact, for many people, it's a choice that we consciously make. When it comes to outcasts, throw all your stigmas out the door.
Throughout my life, I've been a very social person. I've never had trouble connecting with others or making friends. At the same time, I've never been able to find my place. I have a lot of people who I could consider my friends, but I've never even had a handful of people that I would make my bridesmaids or call to make plans with. I know how to talk to people and be well liked, but at the same time, I've never fit in.
It's not that I completely "hate girls" or bounce from friend to friend, I think I just grow out of people. This is because I know who I am and I never want to change myself in order to feel like a part of something. It's not that I grow out of people and automatically jump to the conclusion that they hold no worth in my life and it's not that I don't appreciate everything they contributed to my life along the way. It's just that I grow to know them and realize that we were never fit in the first place.
I have to admit, growing up, I was always a little jealous of the girls who had massive friend groups that did everything together, the girls who had ten bridesmaids, and the girls who still had a handful of friends to invite over if one couldn't make it. Me? I would just jump into a last minute Homecoming group that would have me. Me? I have many people that would come to me for advice, but none that I would trust with my own problems. Watching these girls who had so many friends made me question why I didn't. It made me feel like something was wrong with me.
Through experience, I realized that nothing was wrong with me. In middle school, high school and even college I ended up in those giant friend groups from time to time. From the inside, I could see that it wasn't so glamorous. Not that this happens in all friend groups, but girls would talk about each other constantly and then put on a fake face to the world to make their group look perfect for the sake of cute photo ops and a sense of belongingness. They would let the group manipulate them and they would conform. It was almost like something straight out of Mean Girls. The worse that people got treated, the harder they tried to be liked in their group. They might think they are friends, but that's not what friendship is.
There are many qualities I look for in friendships, some of which being trust, reliability, and authenticity. I'm not willing to agree with or say whatever I have to at the time to be liked and to fit in. When I did fall into those giant friend groups, I always felt like the odd one out. The one who wasn't as fun as the others because I wouldn't join in on the gossip to make others feel superior in the moment. The third friend who was forced to walk in back of the other two because the sidewalk wasn't wide enough for all of us. The friend who would get eye rolls when sticking up for the person that everyone else wanted to talk about. Seen as lame for being my own person with my own, individual views.
I've always thought I was good at reading people. However, I've proven myself wrong because of the fact that I way too often surround myself with the wrong people. I would be cheating myself if I settled for people who I could never be my true self around. As cliche as it sounds, I emphasize quality far before quantity. True and genuine friends are rare to find but I'm willing to wait as long as it takes for true friends before ever settling for fake ones.
I've been stabbed in the back so many times and maybe that's why I have my guard up. I choose to distance myself from people until I can be confident that I'm surrounded by the right ones. I long for friends who share my determination, values, and my heart. If there's anything I've learned it's that outcasts are not rejects. Being an outcast is just part of our journey on our way to finding where we belong. Maybe someday I'll find my place in this crazy world of people, but until then, I'm perfectly happy being a strong, independent and outspoken loner.