Fitting in

I’m wrestling with whether I should continue taking an art class that isn’t the right fit for me. On one hand, I enjoy going out in the evening and having some “me” time to create. On the other hand, I’m not an abstract painter and I don’t fit in. (Also, I’m a morning person.)

Not fitting in has always been an issue for me.

The only time I ever really felt like I fit in and had a great big group of friends was at the height of my drinking. I felt like I could invite people over and get over my social anxiety with drinking the night away and being carefree and it felt good in the moment.

Slowly, I began to have a nagging feeling, a disconnect with myself. I felt I wasn’t enjoying all the crafts and activities that I usually enjoy. I felt like I was avoiding any quiet time or reflection time. I kept the family in a whirl wind of activity so I wouldn’t have to think about it too much.

Cactus Tuna

I felt sick and tired of running and spinning. I had to force myself to pull back from the group so I could remember who I am.

I struggle with feeling like a shrinking violet. It’s as if I can physically feel myself shrink when I feel like I might need to disappoint someone in order to honor my truth. Sometimes, I don’t know what my truth is. And how can I, when I’m running from it?

I’m scared to quit the class because I feel like I may not follow through on my own. There, I said it. Whew.

I also am worried about disappointing my friend who just joined the class with me and the teacher, even though it’s not the right fit. But I can’t keep going to a class when it’s not right for me because I want to please others, especially because they probably don’t care (not in a callus way, I mean, they won’t mind) and what I do has little impact on their lives. Right? People who love you want the best for you and people who don’t, don’t care.

That reminds me of a quote that really helped me break though fear in my early sobriety, “Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” That really hits to the core of the matter for me.

It ultimately doesn’t matter if I fit in, especially if it means I need to change who I am to bend to the will of the group.

I’m going to give notice in the class. Tonight will be my last official class. Then I am going to find a day and time that I can commit to painting and I’ll join the community as an individual renting studio space. That way I can be in the community, I don’t need to be a student, which, I’m not, really- I’ve been painting forever. But I can get the accountability of showing up and having a great space to share with other talented artists.

Like how I worked all that out here? Thanks for listening. You make a great sounding board.