Have you ever been a part of a group or organization and found that either you put your own uniqueness in check and conform to the ways and opinions of others whether you agree or risk being shunned?  Do you walk away from it even though you wanted to be a part of it all or do you sacrifice your own self just to belong?  It's a tough choice sometimes...how many of us do this....put aside our own Self just to belong?

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i was in the military.  The funny thing is that they are a lot more open to indivuality than one thinks.  I had to hide my piercings, of course, but I was encouraged to share my own unique talents and skills.  The dress and hairstyles were a bit strict of course, but I never really felt hindered from being myself.  I do feel, in my conservative town, that until people find out that I am a college student and an artist of sorts, that they make me feel a bit crazy for being different.  It seems as though it is ok to be unique only if one is in the arts.  Kind of funny.  I have never joined an organization that refused to let me be myself, although sometimes I have had to consider places like my workplaces and dressed a bit more toned down.   As far as conforming to belong, I would never do it again.  I tried to fit in as a kid and a teen.  It was a worthless endeavor.  I can feel comfortable in any social situation, but as myself.  It is hard to be free like that, believe me, but as I teach my daughters to be proud of who they are, I am learning it myself.

Yes, it is a struggle sometimes especially in the workplace where you want to fit in,, but, I have found that in the end, it is exhausting.....I just am realizing that being true to yourself, being authentic is much easier and plus, you really find out who your friends truly are...it is like being online in different groups and such...I am a loner and I don't belong to the various clicks ..... it is so funny because they all are like a wandering tribe they all go to different sites as a group and it is just kinda funny to me....I am on a lot of different sites, but, I go because I find what's there interesting and informative and I want to try and connect with like-minded people.....I am not one to follow the crowd...I'll head in the opposite direction......

I have always been myself no matter what. I have lost loved ones because I refuse to conform to what others want me to be. I will apply manners and all to be polite and fit in but when it comes to someone wanting me to change who i am to fit in well that just will not happen. I am me and if someone deosn't like me for who and what I am then they need to find someone else to be with.

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