When I was little I would get lost in the adventures of The Famous Five.
Their lives were a world away from mine but that didn’t matter. To be honest, I didn’t even notice.
Because there was George. A tomboy.
And to that, I could relate.
Suddenly, it didn’t matter if I didn’t fit in. It was okay to be different to the others around me and I didn’t need to conform.
I could be adventurous, brave, clever, part of a group, have fun and still just be me.
It didn’t matter if there were people who would tease me at school, if I felt like the odd one out, that I didn’t fit in because I was George and the right people would come along one day, the people that got me.
I had somewhere I belonged.
Ok, so it was between the pages of a book, but still, there was that sense of belonging.
As I got older and entered the dreaded teens, books languished on my shelves. There were some magazines for a while but they were just about conforming - you know the usual stuff, how to do your makeup, the latest fashions and so on.
And there I was, not really fitting in again.
Except, I now tried to fit in. There was no role model who showed me it was okay to be me. I needed a George or a Hermione or Neville even...there’s a reason I like Harry Potter so much.
Without these in my life, I began trying to fit in and please other people. To do what others in a group did so I would belong.
And yes, they weren’t always the right people or the right things.
All the time, I was just looking for somewhere to belong.
When I picked up books again and studied for my literature degree, there I was again. Between the covers.
Characters resonated with me as I watched them on their own journey, growing and finding their place in the world. From Pip in Great Expectations to Edna in The Awakening walking towards the sea.
I got brave for a while. Really brave. And then a few years ago, I found myself lost, not fitting in again.
It’s only recently that I’ve started looking at it differently. Maybe it was reaching my forties - people often say you stop caring about what others think then. To a certain extent I agree but as a people pleaser, I’d say it’s not it entirely.
I no longer go looking for people and then try and fit in with them.
I look for those that have similarities with me, those that allow all my oxymorons (childish and intelligent, anyone?).
But not just that.
Now I work on the principle that by putting myself out there I will attract the right people to me.
By being me, I then give those people a place where they can belong. Where they too can just be themselves and know they’re in the right place.
That’s what I do with my writing.
I nurture the relationships between the sender and the receivers so that they all feel like they have a place where they belong, where they’re understood, accepted and supported.
That email list you’re building?
It shouldn’t be a vanity judgment of your success or popularity. It isn’t just a way to sell. It’s not just one of those things you have to do in your business.
It’s your community.
It’s a place to belong.
But that doesn’t just happen. The relationship needs to be nurtured - a journey needs to be undertaken.
That journey will be one where trials and tribulations are shared, where goals and dreams are created and goals worked towards.
Not everyone belongs on your list. But with writing that shares and emotionally connects, the right people will get a sense of being in the right place and you too will feel like you’ve found your place.
If your list is not there right now, if it’s languishing or lacks a feeling of real value, then I can help you turn it into that place where you belong, where you have your people. Just get in touch for more info.
For now, know that you don’t have to fit in with anyone. You’re fine as you are, oddities and all. And there are people who will love you and what you do.
Be you and you’ll find each other.
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