All my life, I’ve never quite felt like I fit in. There were always those other girls: the group that I wanted to be a part of, but never really was. In elementary school, they were the ones who did ballet and wore skinny jeans in third grade. In middle school, I envied the girls who had bat mitzvahs and played soccer. By high school, these girls had started texting boys, while I still spent most evenings reading in my room. I always had friends, and never felt totally left out of the social circle, but still – it always felt like I didn’t quite fit in.
Then suddenly, in college, this started to matter less. Those girls were still there. Maybe not the very same ones, but a similar group. However, I started learning to compare myself less. I became more confident in my own opinions and interests, so it mattered less if they aligned with what everyone else thought. I also learned that a few very close friends is so much more valuable to me than the superficial affections of many. Suddenly, it was less about who they were, and more about being happy with myself as an individual.
It still happens some days. That same comparison sneaks in, without me really realizing it. I’ll see an outgoing girl at the gym with bright blue eyes and a perfect blonde ponytail. Or a group of friends will pass me, smiling and laughing about some inside joke. And for a second I’ll get that feeling: that I don’t really belong, and I’ll never be like them, no matter how hard I try. But I try to remember that everyone must feel this way sometimes. Even the girl at the gym will feel like she doesn’t really belong. And the queen bee, surrounded by friends: she has her own insecurities, too. Maybe they’re even bigger than mine. So I try not to compare. I try to simply focus on who I am, and be happy with that.