The other day I heard someone who ended up in a really bad situation say, “I just wanted to fit in…”
This provoked some memories in me.
The memory of my wanting to be just considered a plain old vanilla Japanese person. Making sure that I knew my Japanese well so that no one could say that, “Oh, yeah, she’s ‘half’ so of course her Japanese is only going to be half as good.”
The memory of being shattered with the knowledge that even non-Japanese questioned my Japanese-ness (because I didn’t look Japanese, especially to other Asians).
The memory of noticing the girls in college who so desperately wanted to blend in to the ‘religious’ crowd that they would wear the trademark denim jean skirts–even though her non-FFB (Frum From Birth) status was evident in other ways.
Why is that we want to ‘fit in’ so badly?
The people who I hear say, ‘I envy you because you are inherently original and special’ are the people who have a community that they automatically fit in to. It’s a pretty lonely existence to not have anyone (even your parents) who automatically fit in with.
It’s true that if you can come out of it strong, than you are that much stronger. But, then, why should we have to go through this trial? Why is it that it is so important to us that we have other people ‘like us’ around? This is probably a question that is going to keep concerning me for the rest of my life….