I have to admit that I’ve taken the phrase in the title image from the file “Home”, where an alien race called the Boov invade Earth. One of the Boov is called Oh (that’s what everyone says when he appears) and he utters the phrase I’ve “borrowed”.
In many respects I feel that I “fit out”, in terms of what family, friends and society may expect of me. Admittedly I also “fit in” or conform to a lot of the norms, such as holding down a job, having a house and mortgage, paying my taxes and bills etc. But am I “normal”?
That’s a difficult question to answer. What is “normal”, and who decides what it is? I don’t have the wife and 2,4 children that Western society expects – though since divorcing my ex I have a new partner and am stepdad to 2 children, so I guess that’s pretty close to conforming?
In the last year I’ve embraced spirituality, and have particularly found peace and purpose in Buddhism. I’ve started mindful meditation and am trying to practice that every day, along with mindfulness in general. I burn incense every day at home, and can’t seem to pass a shop selling the stuff without buying some. I guess that the upshot of all that is that I’m trying to slow down, to get off the rollercoaster of life and to enjoy every moment. It strikes me that this is not a “normal” thing to do and that it’s perhaps one way in which I fit out.
I’m also looking to spend some of my spare time volunteering or helping others in some way. I’ve read somewhere that there are over 20 million volunteers in the UK – that’s about 1 in 7 of the population, so maybe that’s more like fitting in, but in the circles I’ve moved in in the past it’s definitely fitting out. It’s all a bit daunting, but I’m looking forward to it too.
Again, in the circles I used to move in, with the friends I had with my ex, alcohol played quite a significant part. Not only have a I cut down drastically on my intake over the last year, I’ve signed up to give up alcohol completely for all of January. This is definitely not “normal” in my experience, and the last time I had two alcohol free weeks was when climbing Kilimanjaro several years ago. (It’s going well though, thanks for asking.)
At the ripe old age of nearly 50 I’ve joined a band playing music from the 50s-70s, rock and roll as it should be. This is a bit of a departure from playing in an originals heavy rock band (which was probably more fitting out than the new band) but it’s still a bit of an odd thing to do for someone my age I think. Too old to be trendy but too young to be vintage!
Then there’s the type of music I listen to. I’m still going to see my favourite punk bands from when I was a teenager (I’m so glad they’re still going / still alive) and there’s a real feeling of togetherness at those gigs. The rest of the crowd are like me, of a similar age (generally) and I’m guessing all enjoying the gig for the same reasons as me. But when I was in my teens, that style of music was not mainstream, and we were definitely on the outside looking in.
Do you know what though? I like my new life, I like being me, and I like fitting out. And I’m not the only one. Check this out on my partner Dee’s site, Helping You Sparkle. This is what inspired me to write this post.