Stories from the Out Crowd

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.

These girl might make me change my mind about joining a sorority...

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.

~The End

Photos by alphalogistics.us, xfinity.comcast.net, imdb, safenetwork.org

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50 thoughts on “Stories from the Out Crowd

  1. Hi Sarah,
    I too, am a loner by choice, and I don’t mean it to sound pious. I like different things and never fit the mold of being a follower. So first and foremost, I can appreciate your blog. You have a totally unique and clever perspective that makes reading your blog fun. Secondly, I know rejection hurts. I was bullied in grade school and formed a tough exterior as a result. We tend to preserve ourselves when something is painful. However, had you not posted your first blog, would you have as many followers as you do today? 😉 It’s painful if we get our hopes up, but sometimes we need to stick our necks out. Life is risk and we never will get anywhere if we don’t throw caution to the wind and say, “Come what may…”. I wish you well.

    • Thanks so much for reading, Grace. Sometimes I think the disappointments in life, and the rejections are the things that make certain people who they are. I love hearing from my readers, so thanks for your comments:)

  2. Oh, I so identify with this. Thanks for putting it into words. I think our “independence” was (is) a defense mechanism and a coping mechanism. God bless the kids who don’t have the mechanism when the bullies rear their ugly heads.

    • Hi Maggie! Thanks for stopping by:) I think about the kids, too, who can’t deal with bullies or opposition and it breaks my heart:(

  3. Damned RIGHT Red! 🙂

    To borrow a quote: “I would never join a club that would have me as a member!”

    Gotta love Grouch Marx… 🙂

    Love and hugs!

    Prenin.

  4. I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t like any of your posts because I sure love them! I found this blog recently and I have to say that I look forward to your posts. who cares if they didn’t publish any? You are a good writer and I look forward to a peek into your young adult novel (between you and me I’m a sap for tween romances and I was also obsessed with sweet valley high!)

  5. Hey Sarah – enjoying your blog and the quirkiness of it. With this situation, the first thing that came to MY mind was, “Maybe the site moderator is just lazy and hasn’t checked in on it in a while.” You didn’t mention if you’d noticed new posts since you sent your “application” in, but it might be the issue… it’s at least better to think that, right? 🙂

      • I guess it was a nice thought anyway! 🙂 There is a phrase that just came to my mind from the New Testament book of Hebrews, chapter 11, verse 38… it says, “the world was not worthy of them”. It’s from a scripture portion called “the Hall of Faith” and it talks about all the suffering that some people had gone through. Ya know, it’s really true. There are some kind of people out there who aren’t worthy of your company or knowing you. Not in a prideful way, but just in a plain old honest way of saying that. Regardless, thanks for opening up and sharing. 🙂

  6. I so needed a post like this today. I beat to my own drum as well as have no medium button, but I do come with a filter and know how to use it – ha! I will be here following and reading along – love your blog:) All we can do is be genuine and honest as well as our true selves. I will not change who I am for every situation because I am not being true to myself. Have an Awesome Weekend!!!

  7. Judy Blume and The Sweet Valley High series were my faves while growing up. You’re blog posts are fantastic. Barry said what I was thinking. Perhaps HelloGiggles is overwhelmed with contributors submitting posts. This summer I finally worked up my courage to submit a piece to a writing contest. It didn’t win. But, I felt proud that I took the risk and entered.

    http://kateschannel.wordpress.com/

    • Yay! You love Sweet Valley High, too. They’re making a movie soon. I think Diablo Cody is writing the screenplay. How cool is that?

  8. Great story and absolutely wonderful Dr.Seuss quote. It takes a lot for any person to admit that Legally Blonde created inspiration of any kind:)

  9. Hey Sarah,

    I love reading your blog and especially today’s one as like the others who have commented I can relate to what you have written. Like most John Hughes buffs it took me a long time to be comfortable and appreciate being just out of step with the masses but as a non-sheep like Molly in Pretty in Pink I think that’s kinda cool. Keep stepping to your own drum lady, we could do with a few more in our minority soriety! xx ps I love Duckie!

  10. “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.” – Very well said.. 🙂

  11. In high school I followed my own path, amidst girls who wore insane amounts of makeup and shopped at Contempo, I shopped at thrift stores and wore doc martens. I was comfortable in my own skin, and didn’t care what people said because I was happy. Then I got to college, I went to a commuter school and I felt a little lost in the crowd. Much to the surprise of every person in my life, I decided to join a sorority. For the first time I was in with the in crowd, and I changed and molded into what every other girl in my sorority was like. I was still quirky, and I’d test boundaries here and there, but it was a time of a very lemming mentality. I never felt 100% comfortable, because I was never 100% myself. For years after college I would sing the praises of my experience, and say how great it was and how I had made life long friends. Blah, blah, blah. It took 10 years for me to see how wrong I was. Now, at 32, I’ve found myself again and I’m so much happier and secure than I had been. I look back and think, look how much time I wasted wanting to be like other people and miserable, lesson learned! I love to read your blog because you put yourself out there in such an authentic way, it’s you and you’re fabulous. As long as you recognize that in yourself, that’s all that matters! 🙂

  12. Ahhh, yes! You totally get it! Thanks for sharing your affirmations. I think you, and this blog, are fabulous and I take comfort in reading so many posts that align with myself. If I wasn’t so annoyed by the song, I’d be sending you a “Hey, Soul Sister” shout out via Train and YouTube.

  13. Awesome post! Sorry you didn’t hear back. It’s like the publisher game where you send off your baby and then wait and wait…and wait…six months…eight months. I sometimes think they’re evil…just sitting back laughing as they think about all us WAITERS out there. I love your blog.

  14. Screw HelloGiggles.

    I’ve submitted stuff to other places and no one’s gotten back to me either. Turns out there are other users and “writers” on this here internet.

    But. That’s okay. I’m going to keep on writing. And you should keep on submitting. Odds are they have tons of stuff and probably just didn’t see anything that fit even though they were like, “this girl is really cool. I hope she keeps on submitting stuff.” but they couldn’t say that because they have no budget. So consider that.

  15. I love your blog! It stands out perfectly fine on its own! 🙂 I totally identified with this post, right down to never joining any “clubs” in high school to reading Babysitters Club (I also read a lot of Sleepover Friends, I don’t know if you ever heard of that series). I used to be an LBC (loner by choice) when I was in high school. I just couldn’t get into a lot of the things my peers thought were the “in” thing to do.

    In my more recent life, one thing I used to feel bad about was being one of the only ones out of my old group of friends that got married and had kids. For some reason there always seems to be this assumption that once you’re married or once you have children, you’re no longer visible under the social radar. Sadly, I think this contributed to me having lost touch with some friends I once felt close to, and for a little while I would feel left out when I heard about all my “single” friends having fun while I was at home taking care of my family. After a while though, I thought the exact same thing you did, which was at first, “What did I do wrong?” and then later, “Why do I care so much?” Not only was I blessed with the gift of my very own family, but I was totally pledged into the “sorority” of wives & mothers! 🙂 Now I have a whole support system of sisters I bond with on a regular basis.

    Oops! I think I’ve left a short story in your comment box. Sorry about that. This entry hit home in a number of ways and I’m glad you posted it! Keep it coming!

  16. I’ve always done my own thing…I hate for other people to make my choices for me. When everyone was wearing Levi’s, I wore Kmart generic. When they all were getting 80’s perms, I was cutting off all my hair. When shoulder pads were the rage, I bared my shoulders. Fitting in was never even a choice…I was never going to…for anyone. Still don’t all these years later. Just b/c those “giggles girls” didn’t respond, looks like those who matter did. Keep beating your own drum…it’ll lead us to you.

  17. Pingback: Why I Blog: Seven Reasons | kateschannel

  18. Sorry. Me again. I tagged you with an award on my site. If you hate accepting awards, I’m not offended in the least if you ignore this. It can be time consuming to respond. I kind of fudged and only did it half way myself, truthfully.

    • Sorry for not getting back to you sooner! Thank you for the award. I’m honored! I unfortunately am swamped with school right now, and will be for the rest of the semester, so I won’t have time to follow up. Thank you for thinking of me though!

  19. I know exactly what you’re talking about! For some reason I don’t fit in with most girls, or in any group for that matter. And yes, it sucks when you find someone you would love to get to know better or hang out with and they are just not in to you. But in the end, why would you want to be with someone who’s not even slightly interested in you?

    By the way, I love the Sweet Valley books. My English teacher used to borrow me his sister’s old books and they were pretty awesome, as well as the Babysitter’s club. And I love Molly Ringwald in “Pretty in Pink” and in “16 Candles”.

    I absolutely love your blog and will be checking it every once in a while 🙂

  20. I wasn’t much into the in-crowd way back high school and it’s not pretty easy trying to fit in..somehow I learned that pleasing yourself is much more important than pleasing other people just so they will accept you in their group..

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