When your view of the world looks different from how most perceive it, maybe it’s due to how you have always understood and interpreted things. It’s not a wrong approach, not a fault or mixed wiring in your brain or character, you are simply uniquely you.
For a long time I had the notion that being an artist was the reason I often feel like an outsider but then I observe other artists, I don’t get that impression as some of them seem quite comfortable in social settings. Then I thought that maybe it was because of my being of trans origin, that somehow this had to be the reason why, and certainly being trans does affect one’s interactions with everyone and everything, still it felt I was missing something more basic. Feeling like a stranger more often than not informs me that this is baked in, maybe even from the get go as a child.
This being on the outside looking in can be a negative experience, I know how not having a sense of belonging is hard to carry at times. I know that there are those of you who feel this way as well, I want you to know that I see you, I understand and you are not alone, not really. When you are rejected, judged even because your take on a given event is not like everyone else’s, know that it is a strength, a uniquely you trait, and it’s beautiful.
There may be a variety of reason why we feel like outsiders, I claim no universal understanding. Feeling so different from others’ even at a young age is something that introverts have in common though I don’t know that the feeling is only the result of introversion, I do think it is a big part of it.
I have always been very sensitive, highly stressed, not feeling understood and not sure of where I fit in. No matter how much I have tried to belong to groups and movements, to family. I, for the longest time thought I wanted to belong and it made me so miserable. Being on the outside has shaped who I am, I can now see this as a good thing, something positive. As the outsider, I am freed from the expected, not answerable to conventions, peer pressure and conformity have less hold on me. I am free to make choices based on my understanding from the edge.
I tried many times in my life to conform to become a part of a group and it has always been a wrong fit. It’s not that I don’t get along with people and groups, I do but I usually drift away as if a part of me just prefers that freedom that comes with not being beholden. I would definitely not be a good soldier. I love that I have, for the most part, chosen my very own path, that I had to create that path, and walked a road that is mine.
As an artist, I created what it was that I found of interest, and those are my best paintings and drawings. I dared speak out on topics not always popular and well accepted by the majority, sometimes I would hope to just be like everyone else but mostly I knew I was creating through my gaze and this brought such satisfaction and fulfillment, it made me happy. I never did mind being alone as it gave me the opportunity to observe and see the world as I perceived it. I am a loner, even married and in love, I remain the outsider, only now I am proud of it and know it to be right for me.
I notice that I tend to come across other loners, individuals who probably feel like outsiders, those round pegs that don’t fit in the square spaces of life. To you I say, don’t try to fit in, enjoy who you are, accept yourself, love that unique creature that only you can be. Outsider, you are beautiful and as unique as a unicorn, you are that speck of star dust that shines no matter what cosmic storm you occasionally pass through on your adventures.