When I was little, I had a toy with a wooden plank shaped like my sketch above. It had a square-shape, a circle-shape, and a star-shape that fit into the board.
Societies give us limited options for fitting in, and they don’t always match the shape of what we are.
I had a conversation that made me think about this, recently.
Fierce eyes attracted mine as I walked to a bus stop, and I stopped to talk with the woman they beamed from.
We ended up sitting by water, where she correctly identified the sound of raccoons chittering in the underbrush, and pointed out a massive heron bathing on the other side of the sparkling lake.
I laid out boxes of fresh raspberries and plump blueberries from Pike’s Place, and we drank probiotic grape juice together.
Sharing this lightest and healthiest of meals, we talked about pain and trauma and the heaviest things. This included why I no longer live indoors.
When I handed her a box of raisins to feed the raccoons, she muttered “raison d’être” under her breath, and I felt a tingle up the back of my neck. I probably felt the tingle because I’m sapiosexual, but also because of the subjects we discussed.
Do you exist for the purpose of fitting into society? What purpose does society ask you to serve, to justify your existence?
I noticed that in the city, any time I was more than a few feet away from this woman, men swarmed her like flies on a piece of fruit. She’s shaped lean and long in that traditional fashion-model mold I’d have found a little boring if not for the fierce eyes.
Society has a place for this shape – she can be an “object” and get paid for it. Society could take pictures and use the photographs to sell expensive makeup at the mall.
Based on her brilliance, I doubt she’d find that fulfilling. She had other ideas about how to fit in.
She and I agreed that I’d “given up on society.”
However, after thinking about this and getting the chance to write about it, I want to make a finer point:
I love humanity. I’m human and this asks me to be social to feel alive. I love life.
I do everything I can to affirm living with each of my days. I try, despite my mind’s notions of good and bad, to affirm our humanity in its wholeness.
All I’ve given up on is trying to fit in. Or wearing a suit and pretending to fit in. Or shaming myself for the fact that I don’t.
I don’t fit into a society that mistakes systems of economy and systems of politics, or any other manmade ideas, for reality.
Human ideologies and systems are useful, and make-believe ideas such as “money” can help us organize efforts and resources together.
But “money” is human make-believe, and human beings did not create the planet or its resources. Our ideas about how to manage the planet and ourselves, exist only in our minds.
What I have given up on, is trying to “fit into” societies that confuse make-believe manmade systems for reality.
That toy I had as a kid came with a mallet to help you tap the shapes into the board. I could beat on one shape and cram it into the square, but I’m done with that now.
I invite you to be whatever shape you are, and quit beating yourself on the head if you’re not fitting in.