Otherness

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They say that no man is an island – and it many ways that is true. None of us can do any of this alone. If not for other people, I wouldn’t have any of the things I have around me. The roof over my head or food in the cupboards would not be there. I personally worked hard and earned it, I do deserve credit for that of course, but on a very practical level, that stuff would just not be available to me were it not for other people. The people that make it, transport it, sell it. A lot of people are involved in even the simplest product.

That’s before I even start to consider the camaraderie, the emotional support, the shared responsibilities and the people around me that I lean on. And of course, I need to touch upon the family and friends that raised me, taught me and made me who I am.

So, knowing all of that, why is it that I feel so separate from other people?

I know that this is not an experience that is unique to me – I think it’s the same for all of us.

There’s a little part that feels a little “other”. The voice that tells you everyone but you has it figured out. That you don’t quite fit in. That you are on the outside and everyone else is on the inside.

Of course, most of us then spend our lives gathering tidbits of evidence for ourselves that this is true. We generally ignore the vast amounts of evidence that stacks against our theory – cos man, do we like to prove ourselves right!

I think we all deal with that sense of “otherness” in different ways. Some of us adjust ourselves to fit as best we can, whether its comfy or not. Some of us exaggerate the otherness, embrace it and make it our own – again, whether its comfortable or not. Some of us go hunting for a tribe where we feel less “other”, but I’m not sure it ever entirely goes away.

All I want to say really, is for those of you who also feel like you’re a little “other”, it’s that very thing that makes you more human, more similar, more included. Take your otherness and know it means that you belong.

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