I’m 56 years old. I’ve never fit in. I’ve never been what anyone wanted me to be, or thought I should be. At times I’ve tried – especially when I was young – but it never really worked. I always end up just being me.
My original mother and father didn’t want me. My adoptive mother wanted a daughter, but she didn’t want me. She wanted me to be more like her, and I tried, but I just wasn’t. Our relationship has changed now because I take care of her and I’m all she has, but we still argue about the way I do things vs. the way she thinks I should do things.
I’ve never had a lot of friends, and I’ve managed somehow to alienate almost all of them sooner or later throughout my life. Depression played a large role in that, I’m sure. It’s what has damaged all of my relationships – with men, too. In many ways, that, more than anything has shaped who I am.
I’ve made the wrong decisions about almost everything in my life and I’ve failed at almost everything that ever really mattered to me.
At work, as I’m winding down my career, I find that I’m not fitting in with the 15-year olds who are running things now. I’m getting the message everyday in a thousand different ways that there is nothing about me that is valued in this company. It’s hard to get up in the morning knowing that I’m going to go to spend the day being reminded over and over again that once again I don’t fit in.
Social media tells me that I’m not living life the right way. The 15-year olds tell me I’m not working the right way. Most people I know have friends and family, as they have managed to live a full life, in spite of obstacles. On TV my life would be portrayed as the butt of jokes on a sitcom.
♫ I’m a loser, baby. So why don’t you kill me…. ♫
In spite of all that…I’m here. I’m alive. I’m real. Against all the odds I’ve made it this far without being a burden to someone else or to society. I’ve struggled to stay alive and to become a better person. I have value simply because I’m here on this planet.
I’ve worked since I was 14. I’ve worked a lot of different places in several different capacities. I ran a business of my own for 5 years. I’ve given 18 years of my working life to this particular company. I have done a crapload of good work over the years. I have experience and I’m loyal. If others fail to see that, too bad. When I started here, many of my current co-workers were learning to use the potty or drawing pumpkins in elementary school. Someday, I’m guessing, they’re going to know what it feels like to be devalued, too.
So none of it matters. I’ll keep fending off the blows, healing the wounds, and going on. All that matters is me and what I think about my work and my life, and I think I’m doing just fine. My mother won’t live forever and in 5 1/2 years I will retire. I’ll be free in my life then in a way I never have been and who knows what I might accomplish? Who knows what I’ll have to offer the world before I’m gone?
I’m not done yet, and I am who I am; simply me. One and only. Not a loser, not a winner. Just me, doing the best I can.
And that is enough.