It got to the point I would even “self censor” things I felt would seem nerdy, even avoiding using words I deemed too big, just to make my social disguise a bit more convincing. Football seasons passed, and as I spent more time around friends letting out a little more each time we would hang out, I began to notice they liked me in my pure, raw form more than in my modified football form, big words and all.
I had so many strengths that I’d been hiding from the world for so long, so finally after three years I had emerged from my dark cloak, present in full, nerdy form. At first I was nervous nobody would like this new me, but people loved it. They had wonder how I’d suddenly gotten so smart, so humorous, so insightful.
That moment I realized something I wish all people could some to see how I did; that you develop passions for a reason and they shouldn’t be kept from the world, they should be shared. That if everybody was the same, our society wouldn’t be a melting pot of diverse ideals, it’d be a plain old, boring can of soup.
Rocking a Pikachu shirt instead of a football jersey this time, I still received the same high fives and hellos I had always gotten, if not even more, with people from school even coming to cheer me on in my local Pokemon tournament.
The secret to fitting in is quite simple, there is no real fitting in. The world isn’t a big puzzle where we all have to fit in snuggly and uniformly.
Rather, it’s something of a game of Cooties, y’know, those little things that everyone had and made the little creature things of, but nobody played the game of. A real, living, ever-changing game of bold and unique statements of identity, where the louder and more daring you are with your passions and beliefs, the further you’ll take yourself.