Recently on Twitter, I asked you guys if have you ever felt like you didn?t belong anywhere. As if whether or not you were in a place or situation simply made no difference at all to those around you.
Places full of people and stories, and yours seem not to count. You strive to get close to someone, to interact, and get ignored or simply rejected.
So every once in a while, you think about going out, but you don?t know if you actually should, because? what different will happen once you step outside?
Well, I?ve felt like that more times than I can count.
And I was shocked to see how many of you have felt like that, too. And some still feel.
And being 100% honest, sometimes I still feel like that too.
I came here today to share specific points of my personal story and what I have done to change certain things so I didn?t feel left out anymore.
But, spoiler alert: If you think that even after all things I?ve done I wouldn?t be left out of countless Instagram stories, you?re quite wrong.
Hope you feel hugged.
Hi there, that?s me in 1999.
I don?t know about you, but I belive my sense of ?not belonging? started as kid.
I was born premature, with asthmatic bronchitis, so while all the kids were running and playing, laughing and screaming, I stood there watching.
And of course it had an impact on my growth and in the way I interacted with people. I watched more than interacted, and had poor approach technique ? uhm, maybe because I was a child? ? and that?s probably why throughout my growth I have always enjoyed and focused on personal improvement and behavioral study.
It wasn?t different on school, nor even high school. And it wasn?t different when I got in college, either.
But there was a time in between where I kinda found out a way to ?find my path?, find my people, find somewhere where maybe, and just maybe? I could be useful.
And if I was lucky or blessed enough, one day I would find my crew.
I?ll try to make long story short, don?t worry.
The Two-Way Impact And a Camera
On school I had once been the chubby girl, hiding behind glasses, braces and bangs. As I have also once been the pretty one.
I have been ignored for years, as I have already been bullied. And later on, wanted. I was very very quiet, but I have once tasted what it was like to have some voice in a group.
I had already tried my best to fit in, and then, been abused.And now I was just an anorexic broken girl with bruises and a camera.
My parents didn?t know, but somehow they felt. And even if I didn?t say a word about that, I didn?t knew who I was anymore.
I was sixteen years old when I saw myself stuck in the middle with two completely different paths ahead: one had a hill, and the other, a hole.
And when you?re walking towards the hole, it is kinda hard to have energy to climb up a hill. Even more when you can?t stand walk anymore. It is like the hole is pulling you down. But as I was walking towards it, I heard a voice coming from the hill, and it was shouting my name.
I couldn?t see who it was, until a hand from the hill reached out to me and pulled me up.
The hand owner?s name was Felipe. And the voice came from God.
This isn?t a text about faith, but I have to draw the scenario so you understand how I found a way out from the hole I was diving myself into.
I met Felipe while I was in the eighth grade of elementary school. He was one of the nicest guys I knew, and in the dirty world I lived in, one of the only ones I felt I could trust. But we weren?t exactly friends because we didn?t talked much to each other ? we exchanged instagram likes once in a while.
I called him in tears on that evening. I couldn?t stand the chaos within me, and honestly didn?t know what to do, so I felt like calling someone (even if I haven?t talked to him in years) would probably be better than just ignoring.
And there was the moment where I found out the first thing I?d ask you to consider.
Asking for help sometimes, even when you feel alone and think nobody will understand you, might truly be helpful.
He invited me out to a camp on that same week, and I?ve seen myself again with two decisions in front of me: accept even without knowing who the people were, if it would be positive or if it would only make me worse; or refuse and just stay on that same page.
So here comes the second lesson I came to share with you: boldness.
Put your fear aside to try to do something new, out of the box, something that can really help you change ? for better.
So I said ?yes? and went to the camp.
And if there is one thing I?ve always enjoyed doing, was photographing (even though I wasn?t that good at it). And as soon as I got there, I realized that they needed someone on the team who was willing to spend their time photographing people.
I always wanted to know how it was like to catch smiles and moments, so I volunteered. Nobody knew me, but I volunteered.
For once in a very long time I focused on something else than just me. I felt like that mission was bigger than whatever I felt.
Sometimes people would realize that I was photographing and make fun faces or smile. Other times, they didn?t even realized, but as soon as the weekend ended they?d see the pictures and get happy for having those moments eternalized.
With time I realized that the less we try to please others or fit in, and the more we focus on really doing something good for people by doing our best, with excellence, the better it is. Not only to them, but to ourselves too.
Because we?re filled by the feeling of ?mission accomplished?. That good spark of having done your best, and nothing less than your best. And in those moments, respecting whatever faith or lack of it you may have, God also rewards us with the best.
Life may not be fair, but God is.
Photographing people, going to camps, wiping away tears and eventually being there to listen the reason why they?ve fallen down on the first place? I discovered beautiful and unique stories, and eventually, I found friends.
It?s not about vanity or ego, it?s really about feeling part of something.
And I swear to you, I?ve never done these things trying to feel important somewhere, but sometimes you miss feeling welcome somewhere.
I spent at least sixteen years of my life trying to feel welcome somewhere.
And it made the whole difference to me knowing that just by being there, I was making the difference in someone?s life, too. A two-way impact.
A picture with my virtual friends, Marcelo and Tiago ? taken by Tiago Fagundes.
Reciprocity, virtual friends and being a workaholic
The experiences I had on that camp have made me feel comfortable enough to get out of the box more often, and I ended up engaging with other projects in 2016, being one of them Brainstorming Lines.
In life there were very few moments that I felt truly included, and to your surprise, most of them had something to do with Brainstorming Lines
If you think that even after making friends, going out a few times, having parties, camps and sleepless nights listening to my friends vent, I wouldn?t be left out of countless Instagram stories, you?re quite wrong.
The Big Bash Pool Party
And the crooked cock Vayne?
And more recently, at 20 years old, after going through countless changes in life, I ended up focusing much more on my work than on the people around me.
Big mistake, don?t do that, kids. Try to find a balance. I tried, but failed.
I was at a birthday party once when I texted a friend, ?sometimes I find myself reflecting in the middle of the day that maybe, and just maybe, I sink myself at work so I don?t have to face certain things?, and hurried on sending.
?Being a workaholic might be an escape, you know. A way to compensate all other areas that aren?t okay within me.?
I guess I don?t even have to say that my friend, the one who received the texts, have never texted me back.
So gradually I am working on detaching myself from these events and focusing on investing my time and energy in activities and people that are reciprocal.
I think it?s often easier to make friends over the internet not only because it?s comfortable, but because it?s easier to find people with the same interests as you.
People with similar ways of being, tastes and goals, in an optimized time. But sometimes it is healthy that you submit yourself out of the box.
I?ve found amazing people on internet.
Don?t drown yourself at work to compensate other areas of your life. You?re good, you?re worth, just try to work out the way you put things out and pay attention to the people you?re trying to fit in with, because maybe they have nothing to do with your way of being or your goals.
Fitting it with some groups will be a delay for you, because instead of developing, being better, having people supporting you and putting you up, you will have a group of people who require you to prove your worth to them all the time.
I don?t want to disparage anyone but there?s a lot of chaff out there, but there are also some little wheat ones in the middle. I see that wheat feels so different that it doesn?t see the value it has since everyone around it is chaff.
You aren?t chaff, you?re wheat.
Embrace your wheat-ness, get outside the box and you?ll eventually find them.
You made me feel included ? Yes, YOU
Ok, I shall admit you guys something. You already know that I didn?t feel included on school, doesn?t matter how I tried.
The same way I didn?t feel included on college, even though I still try.
I didn?t feel welcome on my last job. I don?t feel welcome in so many places, and sometimes I do feel alone. Maybe it is part of life feeling alone sometimes.
I tried to end up with this, hang out with some people that I liked, but as much as I?d be myself around them, the less I would fit in. And the less they?d invite me out again.
I often sit down and think ?ok, what have I done wrong now??, and sometimes there?s nothing wrong, it is just kind of a vibe that doesn?t match between you and a group.
Also, I guess that sometimes we take stuff wrong too, not everyone is that good on chatting or exposing everything they may feel and so, we may end up assuming more people deslike us than they actually do.
Of Farts, Armors and Fears
People have different ways to show when they?re in love. And in some cases, it involves farts, armors and fears.
But if there is something on Earth that makes me feel like there?s something I do that is worth in life are my readers.
I?ve met a guy once at Brasil Game Show, he poped up out of the nowhere to give me a hug as I stood there paralyzed smiling at him and striving to hug him back.
I?ve cried with messages sent to my DM about you guys reading stuff and sharing your stories with me the same way I share mine with you.
And I?d like to make it clear that none of that come from ego, but come from the feeling of having at least one or two people reading this and thinking ?oh wait, I feel like that too!?.
It makes everything worth, you know.
And although we are all quite different it doesn?t make us any less important, and we still have one thing in common: we don?t fit anywhere, and maybe, just maybe? we?re better together.
Internet is here to help.I am here to help.