I pride myself as being someone who marches to the beat of their own drum. Even as a teenager when so much of your life revolves around what your friends are doing, wearing, or who you surround yourself with, I never really cared much about any of it.
I didn’t go to a regular college, I attended a musical theater conservatory for two years right out of high school, where there were lots of eccentrically awesome theater people, but no fraternities or sororities, and no clubs. If I had gone to a university, though, I guarantee I would have never joined a sorority. I have absolutely nothing against them, I think that they can be a great way to meet new people, but I guess I’ve always preferred to do my own thing independently. On a side note, Legally Blonde always made me want to be part of a sorority…but that’s a different story for a different day.
It’s been fun always being so independent, but what happens when a self-proclaimed non-joiner tries to, well, join something?
About six months ago I found this blog called HelloGiggles. It’s this quirky blog, that takes all kinds of different blogs from women and puts them on their site. The first time I laid eyes on it, I thought I had found some sort of mecca for other girls so similar to me. It was filled with cute little stories about their collective love for Sweet Valley High books, Judy Blume, and all things Molly Ringwald. As I looked through the hundreds of posts, I couldn’t believe how much I had in common with these girls.
When I saw the link that said “Contribute To Our Blog,” I got so excited. I immediately filled out the little form where you can submit three of your posts, tried to think of something witty to say for the “about me” section, and gushed to them how obsessed I was with their blog. I told them how much I loved Sweet Valley High, and how I tried to form my own “Babysitter’s Club” when I as younger, too. I sent it in, and immediately got an automated response back that said my submission would be reviewed, and I’d hear back from someone in two weeks. I patiently waited for two weeks, but after fourteen days…I heard nothing. There was no formal rejection, and no response saying they wanted to use one of my posts either. After three weeks had passed, I decided to fill out another form with three different blogs, but again two weeks went by, and nothing. So, I did it a third, and a fourth, and a fifth…and there was nothing but crickets.
I was disappointed. I asked myself, “What did I do wrong? Did they not like my posts? Didn’t they like me?” I was so sure they were going to love it, at least one of them…how could I be so wrong? It was then that I grasped what it must feel like for girls who pledge a sorority, thinking you have found a group of girls where you perfectly fit in, only to not be selected and left wondering why.
The bigger question was why did I care so much? It wasn’t like me to care about something like this at all. I think it was because when I finally decided I wanted to be a part of something, I couldn’t. I hadn’t anticipated that.
It took me back to high school, college, different places I’ve worked, auditions I haven’t landed, and made me remember situations I hadn’t thought about in years where I felt left out. Had my fiercely independent attitude been nothing more than a defense mechanism all along?
I really can’t be sure, but all I know is, I’ve learned something from this situation. Sometimes people are going to like you, and sometimes they won’t. Sometimes everything fits right into place the way you expect it to, and sometimes it doesn’t. All you can be is you, and nothing more.
It’s kind of like what Dr. Seuss said…
“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.”
Sometimes just being you is all you can be, and that’s enough.
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