Friday, 25 September 2015

Do I fit in?



This feels like something of an impromptu post, but this question has been on my mind lately, and I wanted to address it properly.

The end of the summer promises new adventures at every corner, whether it's starting another year at school or venturing into the world of work or university. I can guarantee that at one point, we've asked ourselves this question. Here's the answer: we don't. Not anywhere.

I feel as though the idea of togetherness and being like-minded with other people has become so ingrained in our minds, that we're desperate to find similarities to other people when we're thrown into a new & unfamiliar setting. It happened when I was interning in a city bank a year ago. It happened when I ventured out of the East-end and started travelling in the city more and more. It happens every freakin' day, if I'm taking the tube to university. That annoying, nagging little voice telling me that "oh, I'm the only one who..." and then filling in the bits and pieces accordingly.

It seems so silly, saying this all now in writing. But I can guarantee that I'm not alone in this. Why are we so desperate to become a part of something until we barely even exist? The truth is, anywhere you are, there is always going to be something - whether it's your religious dress, your political views, you're wealth or lack-of (all experiences I've had) where you stick out like a sore thumb. And there's nothing to be done about this.

And guess what?
That's okay.

When I started university a year ago, I was really surprised by how incredibly odd I felt. While I knew that I wasn't exactly a foreigner's image of what a British person would be, I've always felt at home where I am. Where there's difference and multiple nationalities. Enter university: where this simple East Londoner was thrown into a world where people asked her why she wore an abayah when it was so hot out, and laughing at her answer regardless. Where someone would be surprised that I can use a large word or two when I tell them where I was born and raised. Those raised eyebrows when I tell someone what I'm studying, as though a Muslim being a lawyer is a notion so ridiculous.

Growing up means accepting the fact that you are your own person, and to be comfortable with that. In whatever setting you're thrown into. No matter what the stereotypical view of people "like you" might be. There is nobody in the world who can take your place, so why would we want to fade into the background instead and standing up for the things you believe in, and who you are?

It's one of the few things that make is individuals instead of a statistic.

Zahra D x
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