I always wanted to fit in- and I have, for the most part. I fit in almost every locker, cabinet, and tight spot you can put me in. I don’t like it, but I fit. The question is, where do I not fit in?
I’m half of an inch off of being a legal midget in the state of Texas. Some of you laugh, but it’s taken me many years to come to terms with this. I hated being small. I hated being short. I hated being tiny. For the longest time, I hated my height. Until one day I realized that my height didn’t make me, My. It made me short. BUT, that didn’t have to define me.
Then I struggled with my name. “What’s My short for?” Well, it’s short but it’s not short for anything. It’s simply two letters: M-Y; pronounced “me”. No it doesn’t mean anything. Yes it should be pronounced “my” and trust me (HA!), you might be clever but I’ve heard just about every damn joke by now. I hated introducing myself. I hated meeting new people. I hated signing papers. For the longest time, I hated my name. Until one day I realized that the jokes didn’t make me, My. It made my name different. BUT, that didn’t have to define me.
After that, my background came into question. So many questions, so difficult to explain. Yes I was born in Sweden. No I didn’t have American citizenship. Yes we immigrated to the United States. No my family doesn’t spend holidays together. Yes I wonder what life would have been like. I answered all of the questions that someone who just stepped ashore in a new land should. Until one day I realized that my visa status didn’t make me, My. It made me an alien. BUT, that didn’t have to define me.
Eventually it led to my friendships. Why was I never able to make the same connection that other girls did? Was it my looks? Was it my background? Or was it simply “My”? I struggled often to understand why I wouldn’t and couldn’t have the same relationships others did. I questioned whether I was likable, whether it was the way I looked,or if it was because I was a foreigner. Until one day I realized that the popularity didn’t make me, My. It made me lonely. BUT, that didn’t have to define me.
Recently I’ve been asked to take “personality,” compatibility,” “intelligence,” and “pre-employment” tests. So far no results have led to an interview or any kind of job offer thereafter. It’s made me feel stupid. It’s made me wonder if I need to change who I am as a human being. It’s made me consider altering the way I act and react. It’s made me question a lot. Until one day I realized that the tests didn’t make me, My. They made me undesirable as an employee. BUT, that didn’t have to define me.
No this isn’t a pity party, nor is this a request to be an exception. This is simply a statement of how we mold ourselves into becoming the perfect specimens, yet never achieve perfection.
It’s truly a shame, because I am different.
My entire life I’ve been taught to try to fit in, yet I am that star block you’re shoving into a square hole. I feel like I no longer have an option, if I want to fit I have to be a square. I need to be what they want and who they want in order to be hired. Because without a job My can’t be me.
I spent half of my weekend down in Austin for South by Southwest® (SXSW®)! My friend and I drove down for the job market at the convention center. It was way worth going, i was pleasantly surprised. When we first got there my anxiety was through the roof but after a while i enjoyed talking to recruiters from various companies. A few new connections cant hurt.
Austin is such a different city considering it is in Texas, but i feel like SXSW brings out the best of it!