The Perks Of Being An Outsider

The Perks Of Being An Outsider

How fitting in is not that important.
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Speaking from a personal experience, I've always been the outsider, or at least that's how I felt.

Starting from kindergarten until the apotheosis reached in high school, there's been a feeling of exclusion from the inner circle: there was this group of the "cool" people, who just walked together everywhere, sat together at lunch and so on. Maybe they didn't even do anything special, but everyone would have killed to be a part of that group, with those specific people who are just too distant though and don't even seem to care about our existence at all.

(Yes, the group of cool people looks exactly like the Cullens having lunch together and we felt exactly like Bella Swan, but at least for me no Robert Pattinson in the picture yet, so that's even worse. And don't pretend like you haven't seen the movie: we all had a Twilight phase #TeamEdward)

And that hurts, it really does: feeling excluded, like you don't belong with them because there's something wrong with you and you start having insecurities about yourself, your character, your physical aspect, your personality. This sort of paranoid thoughts never stop.

But here's the deal: being a part of the group does not matter, at least that's what I learned.

I'm the kind of person who doesn't like parties which are too loud, being surrounded by many people (yes, we're not so many but we, anti-party people, do exist and are not a legend like a shiny sparkly vampire, just to stay coherent to the theme).

I'm the kind of person who likes going for a hike in the early morning; who likes reading and writing and prefers a movie night instead of an all-night in the club.

And I don't care: I may have been excluded before, but sometimes it was more about what I thought about myself that excluded me and made me feel inappropriate.

What I've so far been learning in college is that it's not about fitting in, it's about being yourself and let other "outsiders" different from us be with us. To be outsider together.


Cover Image Credit: az616578

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.
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It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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I Grew Up As An Only Child And No, I Don't Wish I Had A Bunch Of Siblings

Because I didn't have siblings, my house became the gathering spot for me and my best friends. I always had a plus one. And that's how they became family.

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Being an only child almost always sparks an interesting conversation. Oftentimes people who are only children simply can't imagine having siblings and those with siblings can't imagine living in a pit of loneliness. What they don't know is that pit of loneliness isn't actually that lonely and involves a lot of quiet, self-exploration, and being the star of the family unit. Sounds like a party to me! I feel like whenever I tell people I'm an only child they give me a look of pity as if they are imagining me pacing a dark hallway during the Victorian era with a china doll as my only friend.

First of all, the hallway would have been very well lit because my mother is an interior decorator, but I digress. Whenever I tell people I'm an only child they automatically assume I am spoiled and think too highly of myself. I'm not saying they're totally wrong since I'm currently writing a self-indulgent article and expecting people to read it because they are sure to be intrigued by the fabulousness I've been radiating since day one.

Yes, my pink pastel childhood bedroom did house a canopy bed with faux roses strung about the top and a dollhouse my dad built for me (and installed electricity into). Yes, I had the super sweet 16 complete with a ballgown, tiara and matching pink Hummer Limo. But, I don't think being an only child made me spoiled. I got a lot of things but I never expected them. I worked hard in school even though there were no siblings to compete with. I think I am a pretty good sharer.

Now that I've introduced my only childless to you, I am going to tell you just how ~unique~ MY experience was. You're probably rolling your eyes, but I promise you might understand my life a little better after reading this (I am such an only child, why do I care if you understand my life?). I grew up in a one square mile town, walking school district, no stop light kinda deal. And I loved it. My friends became my family. They are still the family I choose today. I always had playmates because of the small size of my town. I especially needed them because I didn't have that childhood companionship with cousins either GASP

Yep, that's right folks. Not only was I an only child but I was also the only grandchild on both sides of my family. Which means I was also the only niece to all six of my aunts and uncles. I was always kind of bummed out that I didn't get that cousins-opening-presents-together-on-Christmas experience, but because of that, I am so close with my aunts, uncles, and grandparents, just like how not sharing my parents with siblings created my profound relationship with them.

As I got older, I realized I wouldn't be a real aunt until I got married. I am so close with my hometown friends that I am sure I will get to be a fake aunt to their kids, but it isn't the same as blood. I started to be curious about what my relationship would be like with my future younger cousins as every year ticked by without them.

As much as I dreamed about what it would be like when I finally had cousins, I never could have conceived of how much my relationships with them would shape me during my young adult years. When I was 14, my aunts who are twins were due one month apart and I went from having zero cousins to two in a blink of an eye. I couldn't contain my excitement. I felt all the feelings people tell you that you're supposed to feel, but even deeper. I didn't know how much I could instantly love someone or how overwhelmed with selflessness I could be. I didn't know how many things that I'd loved and experienced until I thought about sharing all those things with my Aedan and Daisy.

Three years later when I was 17, our family was blessed with another little girl, the sister to Daisy, Miss Lily. Since I am so much older than them, I feel like more of an aunt or mentor. They inspire me to give them something to look up to. It has been the most beautiful experience for me.

I think who you surround yourself with has a great influence on who you become. For me, I surround myself with my family and friends who are like family. As an aspiring writer, I am crafting an identity and I just don't see how I can express that if I don't give you a little taste of where I came from and the people who make me, me. They've taught me how to love and be loved so well. They're still teaching me things every single day.

When I think of all the people closest to me in my head, I picture every one of their faces meshing into a completed puzzle in my heart. That's really cheesy but I'm being real right now. And I guess my final point is this: I'm an only child but my heart holds a whole lot more than just me.

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