To be or not to be?

I am writing today in response to a comment I recently received from a reader.

Sheree Garner, you are right, and this post is inspired by you.

I am not a girl afraid of her emotions, but a girl afraid of not being understood because of them. One of my mothers greatest wishes for me was that I, ‘ be bullied and not fit in’.

For the majority of my life I believed that there was something terribly wrong with me. I always felt like the odd one out and didn’t feel like I ‘fitted in’ anywhere. It is only recently I realised that the feelings I had were normal. After all, I was surrounded by people who were nothing like me when I was growing up, so it was perfectly natural to feel like the odd one out.

What I didn’t understand then, was that just because I was unfortunate enough to not have any like minded individuals in my life, that did not mean that there was something wrong with me.


However, I am still left with a lingering sense of loneliness and fear of ‘not fitting in’.

Yesterday, I noticed a man walking down the street. He didn’t seem particularly happy or sad. I guess you could say he was pretty poker faced. Then, the driver of a car peeped his horn and waved to the man on the street as he drove by.

This all happened in a matter of seconds but I was struck by the reaction of the man on the street. His whole face lit up with joy. His joy was contagious and I felt it with him. I wondered if recognition and acceptance is something that we all crave and need, and I believe that it is.

Not the recognition and acceptance of our skills and talents, but the recognition and acceptance of who we are; recognition and acceptance of the fact that we actually exist.

To be seen and to be known is a joyous thing.

I am still learning to be myself, but I know that living in this way will attract the right kind of people into my life, and any loneliness experienced when I am truly being myself isn’t quite as painful.

So…to be or not to be?

Definitely ‘be’, because although being true to you isn’t always easy, it is always worth it!

Thank you to everyone who has been in touch recently. I enjoy reading your comments and if I am ever indeed of uplifting or motivating, I reread them.

thank you heart text
Photo by Řaj Vaishnaw on






Author: zoepattersonfightingback

Practice what you love with love, working IN the moment and not FOR a moment. The world does not stop for defeat or for victory and neither should you. I have known victory and I am no stranger to defeat. Despite my personal challenges I still wake each day with the intention to practice what I love and this has served me well. I am an England boxing coach and qualified personal trainer, working hard to help others practice what they love.

4 thoughts on “To be or not to be?”

  1. I think they’re doubts and anxieties that everyone has, Zoe. Some people just appear more confident because they’re good at hiding them. And you know what they say about being who you are and saying what you think: those who mind don’t matter; those who matter don’t mind!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I grew up in Africa, where the traditional greeting is ‘I see you’. It means ‘I recognize you as a person, as a fellow human being in our community’. Nice, isn’t it?

    Daily affirmations for everyone. We need more of that.

    Liked by 1 person

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