Fitting In: An Artist’s View

Fitting in is something that most of us struggle with.

I am not a “spring chicken” and I struggle to find a place for myself, daily.  When I was in my teens, I always hoped that I would find a group that I “belonged” to.  It did not really happen as a teen and it still has not happened, all these years later.

We all work hard to fit into some group, so we will not be lonely or we will be able to grow and communicate.  We alter bits of our personalities to fit in with various groups.  We become reserved to fit in at work, we exert ourselves to be social a group we desire to be a part of.  We give up parts of ourselves, hide parts, or create parts to fit in.  All in hopes that we will not be lonely and have friends.  Even when blogging, parts are hidden.

hidden-emotionsAll we really want is to be wanted for being ourselves.

For an artist it is our mission to share ourselves with as many as we can via our medium.  We use our art to find those who can see us and can like us for who we are.  Through our art we bare part of our being and are truly ourselves.

It can be a lonely existence, walking around as a shell of a being, only showing our light when another looks at a canvas, photograph or our words.  Our passions hidden, only to be seen, felt or heard at random, when a passer by glances up or the radio plays a tune.  We look at everyone wondering if they can see how empty we are.  Wondering if they would see our light once they experienced our art.

We may deny that we are lonely.  We can say we “create art for ourselves.”  We can hide our art from others and ourselves, making ourselves fit in with the group we admire.  It does not work.  We die slowly inside when we do these things.  Our light becomes dimmer every time we lie to ourselves.

I have always wanted to belong to some group.  A group that will appreciate me for who I am.  I have wanted this since I could understand the need.  It has only gotten worse as I have gotten older.  A part of me wonders if I will ever achieve my goal or will I always be outcast, doomed to hide bits of myself.

Then I wonder if I would create any more art if I did fit in somewhere.  Would I still have the need to put bits of myself into my work?  Perhaps my work would take on a new meaning.  To celebrate my light instead of trying to get others to notice it…

You never know until it happens.

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