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The “Odd” Panda

“You have ME here.”

When my friend said that to me during a GChat last week, I’m pretty sure she didn’t know the impact of it.  She said it in passing, and I know she meant it…but the truth of the matter is, I’ve never felt like I belonged anywhere.

I have friends…I have the most amazing friends scattered all over the country and the globe.  I hang out with some of the best people on the East coast on a regular basis but the fact of the matter is I don’t really belong in any group.  For the longest time, I wanted to belong…to be an integral part of the groups of the people I love and admire but the truth is, I’m never really going to belong.

Sure, I’ll be invited and I will have fun but when it comes to being a part of that ‘core’ group, I don’t think it will happen. Not for lack of trying…but just for who I am and where I am in my life.

When I was younger…hell, until a few months ago, the reason for not belonging was because of my home situation. It was easier to become anti-social than to have to say “No” when people invited me to places.  Then, when that reason disappeared, I didn’t feel sufficient enough and the fear of rejection came into play.

“What if it wasn’t because of my situation but it was me? What if I really am not wanted?”

The truth is…It wasn’t any of these things.  I’ll always be the one that stands out in groups…and I’ve come to terms with that.

It’s part of who I am. Don’t get me wrong…I can hang with the best of them, and sure, I’ll consider myself a part of those groups but I won’t really belong.

I’m OK with that.

It’s always been a given that I’m the black sheep in my family…I really wanted it to be different when it came to my friends.

The way my life has been and my personality has led me to be friends with a diverse group of people…and while I click with those people on an individual level…and can carry myself around THEIR friends, I won’t make the same connection.

I’m hard to understand. I’m quirky, spazzy, hard to figure out at times.

I’m not the clown, the flirt, the hottie or the brainiac.

I am and forever will be the “Odd” panda.

Naturally, I’m strangely at ease with that.

Where do you belong in your group of friends?

How do you manage your different group of friends?

Are you the same ‘panda’ in each group or does it differ?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • LivingWicked December 7, 2009, 4:26 am

    I am the odd one. Everyone has these ties that I dont fit into.

    That is okay with me. I would prefer them to know what I allow them to know about my life … rather than them knowing because they were always a part of it. Call it my defense mechanism or what have you … but I like my distance.
    .-= LivingWicked´s last blog ..Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride =-.

    • PrincessQ December 7, 2009, 4:31 am

      I think that’s why we get each other so well. Two “Odd” Pandas…we are in so much trouble. LOL

  • Kendall December 7, 2009, 10:27 am

    I’m not so much an odd panda as an odd duck. Like you, I am the black sheep of my family. And I am a hyperactive spaz. However in my various circles of friends I usually am the one people come to about their problems and the one to try and cheer them up. Or give them a verbal kick in the ass. Or the one who tries to feed them.

    As for being the same in all my groups, yeah I am. I may play up some of my personality trait but it’s the same me.

    I don’t really “get” the concept of keeping people at a distance. Somehow I always find myself integrating into a new group like I was always there. The how still eludes me.
    .-= Kendall´s last blog ..On Being Thankful =-.

    • PrincessQ December 7, 2009, 12:39 pm

      Well, I integrate…I don’t try to keep people at a distance but there’s always that barrier…I just know it.

  • LiLu December 7, 2009, 10:28 am

    Aw hon, we all feel this way sometimes… I know I do.

    xoxo
    .-= LiLu´s last blog ..The Entirely Unorthodox Holiday Gift-Giving Guide =-.

    • PrincessQ December 7, 2009, 12:39 pm

      xoxo

  • Ed Adams December 7, 2009, 10:47 am

    My wife is my best friend.

    My other best friend married my wife’s step-sister, so now he’s also my brother-in-law.
    .-= Ed Adams´s last blog ..My Balls and Stories from their produce… =-.

    • PrincessQ December 7, 2009, 12:40 pm

      Must be nice.

  • LA Cochran December 7, 2009, 12:27 pm

    “I’m not the clown, the flirt, the hottie or the brainiac.”

    Thank goodness you’re not that one dimensional!
    .-= LA Cochran´s last blog .."War… what is it good for…" –War =-.

    • PrincessQ December 7, 2009, 12:40 pm

      That was the simplest way to show examples at 4 in the morning…lol

      Thanks!

  • Liebchen December 7, 2009, 2:46 pm

    I know this feeling. (Like Lilu said, we all do sometimes.) And I go back and forth between really trying to integrate, and trying to convince myself that it’s not a big deal. I think I’m at some sort of in between stage right now.
    .-= Liebchen´s last blog ..Running in a winter wonderland =-.

    • PrincessQ December 7, 2009, 4:51 pm

      I’m the same way…The first few months after I moved out, I really just wanted to BELONG…but it was just me finding myself.

  • GingerMandy December 7, 2009, 3:33 pm

    well i love you and you have me and you always fit in just fine 🙂 i’m the same way though, i’ve had my “friends,” but when it came to the main “circle,” i was never officially part of it. at least it didn’t feel like i was.

    • PrincessQ December 7, 2009, 4:51 pm

      I loves you too!

  • KassyK December 7, 2009, 10:39 pm

    Great post. My situation is fairly unique in terms of friends and groups of friends. Until I was about 15, I was a floater (and felt as you do often) and then just like that–I was part of the “cool crew”. Only they weren’t bitches, they were amazingly kind…one is a best friend still, the others less close but still in touch.

    Since then, I easily became the girl who was always a distinctive part of the group…and in time part of a few distinct groups.

    I have a couple of groups of integral best friends…one in particular.

    My personality is the same whichever group I am in. I think because I was a floater for so long…I am very picky with the “groups” I become a part of…sometimes it hurts peoples feelings that I don’t want to be integrated into their group but its pointless unless I naturally FEEL that connection with everyone.

    I can always just be close with them…not all their friends.

    My college crew, who I often refer to as “the minis”…are really the only group who are ALL still cohesively connected. We are all freaks of nature in a good way that we are still so close.

    Even though 6 of the 9 are married and 2 of those 6 have newborns. We just all are that drawn to each other in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants/ Ya Ya way (yes I did reference two dorky chick flicks).

    I guess for me being the oldest of four kids all close in age and being so close with them and my parents…I tend to do well with groups.

    Wow, I haven’t commented on a post in months. Sorry for the word vomit!!

    🙂

    • PrincessQ December 9, 2009, 1:41 pm

      Thanks for commenting!

      I think I’ll always be a floater…just because of how spread out my friendships are and how much I cherish each friendship. The only place I’ll really belong is in their individual lives.

      • KassyK December 9, 2009, 1:55 pm

        I totally understand that too.

        Even though I am technically very much considered part of one large group…the bulk of my close friends are spread out and scattered among many different groups.

        I did two major “friend drifts” (and I mean that in a nice way)–when I turned 25. One was an entire group of friends who just weren’t worth the time and energy I put in. I am only close with two of that entire group now.

        By the time I was 28, I knew who I would have in my life forever…and who I would just consider an acquaintance. But it did take juggling between about 30 people until then (all who considered me their “best friends”). It was exhausting and not worth it.

        For me, friendship is lifeblood. Being a good friend is one of the most important things you can give in this life…and some people took advantage of that. Luckily, I have so many that give just as much back…so drifting or dropping the bad eggs became easy.

        Ah, I turn 31 tomorrow. Reminds me that my 20s taught me so much about cleaning house and also accepting new friendships. 🙂

        • PrincessQ December 9, 2009, 5:20 pm

          I’ve been having ‘friend drifts’ for a while…It’s happened slowly but surely but the individuals that have stood by me mean the world.

          I am guessing I still have a lot to go through in the next few years…I’m not sure if I’ll ever feel like I belong but I have a feeling I’ll be OK with that as long as I’m surrounded by people I love.

  • BigMamaCass December 8, 2009, 12:58 am

    I know exactly what you mean. I have fallen in and out of “fitting into” certain groups my whole life. And I hate that feeling of falling out of the group. Which I have had happen several times. The only time in my life I have ever felt truly part of something, a group so to speak, was after I got married. (the 2nd time… this time) It sounds lame, I know, but seriously. I finally fit in. *shrug*
    .-= BigMamaCass´s last blog ..“Sweet Dreams” I ♥ Faces =-.

    • PrincessQ December 9, 2009, 1:41 pm

      That’s another new challenge…Wondering how I’ll fit in with the Boy’s group…

      • BigMamaCass December 9, 2009, 4:29 pm

        as long as you fit the boy then that’s all that matters.

        • PrincessQ December 9, 2009, 4:32 pm

          True 🙂

  • BigMamaCass December 8, 2009, 12:59 am

    oh and ps… DUUUUDE, i so wish you were part of my group (or that i was part of yours) 🙂 sursly. I think we would have tons-o-fun if we lived closer (or at least in the same state)

    i could be wrong but i dunno
    .-= BigMamaCass´s last blog ..“Sweet Dreams” I ♥ Faces =-.

    • PrincessQ December 9, 2009, 1:41 pm

      Haha, we’d def have fun 🙂

  • Jean December 8, 2009, 2:38 pm

    The fact is, making friends is hard. Making close friends, friends where you feel like you’re truly an insider in that group, is even hard. This is a detail that often gets overlooked. It’s something I talk about a lot with a friend who just moved to another state where she knows no one except her husband. She’s been there about six months and is still having a hard time making friends – and she’s working so hard at it and she’s one of the most outgoing people I know. It’s just hard and it takes time.

    My best friend used to be my ex, but when we split I suddenly didn’t have anyone to go to the movies with, etc. I’ve spent the last two years or so working to change that and it’s only now that I’m starting to really make progress on having someone I can make spur of the moment plans with – though that’s still hit & miss.

    I just remind myself that it’s not just hard for me, it’s hard for everyone.

    • PrincessQ December 9, 2009, 1:42 pm

      You’re right. It’s hard for everyone…even if they don’t show it.

  • Tinyshrimp December 8, 2009, 5:18 pm

    I have quite the diverse group of friends so I don’t even sure of where to start in answering you’re questions. I guess you could say that I’m the nurturer in every group. I try to be there for all my friends with whatever they need. I can pretty much fit in anywhere so I wouldn’t consider myself the panda.

    PS. I’m 100% positive that you would not be a panda if you came and hung out with me. 😉

    • PrincessQ December 9, 2009, 1:43 pm

      I consider myself the ODD panda.

      We’re all pandas 😛

  • Patrick December 8, 2009, 5:44 pm

    I think people with outgoing personalities often have this feeling. Think about it, the more you are willing to go with the flow and blend into the status quo- the more they might feel in tune with groups. Also the less social outgoing you are the more likely you will value smaller circles and such.

    Leave it to us to be socially outgoing meeting more people but in a more shallow level. It’s the dunbar principle in play. What I try to do is to be picky with my friends, not snobby in who I’m friendly with but make a decision on which groups of people mean the most to me and pay attention to those groups.
    .-= Patrick´s last blog ..Why People Are Getting On And Off The Google Wave =-.

    • PrincessQ December 9, 2009, 1:43 pm

      I’m picky about FRIENDS.

      Groups are different though.

      But you have a good point.

  • Suburban Sweetheart December 19, 2009, 8:53 pm

    I am NEVER part of the core. Heck, a lot of the time I don’t even getting invited. I’m always an outlier. People like me, and I like them, but I often don’t quite make the cut. It used to bother me a lot, and sometimes it still does, but mostly… it is what it is, and I’ve become OK with it.
    .-= Suburban Sweetheart´s last blog ..The White House: I Want to Go to There =-.

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