This is not a vent or whine, just an observation. Whatever group of people I am with, no matter how much we have in common, I never feel like I truly fit in. I may enjoy the company of the people I'm with, I may even feel pretty comfortable around them, but there will always be something that reminds me "I don't really fit in here."
In my Catholic homeschooling group, we share many of the same interests. The women there are wonderful, faith-filled mamas. Many of us have larger families, and many of us are into natural childbirth (or even homebirth!), wearing our babies, cloth diapering, health food, natural remedies. Many of us choose to not circumcise our sons, many of us delay vaccinating our children. But I'll bet I'm the only one with a tattoo, who loves motorcycles, who has had body piercing (it's gone now, just the scar left), and who would hang out at Juanita's on Blues Night. The other mamas are accepting; no one has ever made me feel judged for being a little "different". I just notice it sometimes. I don't quite fit in.
Amongst my hippie/musician/artist friends, I am the "religious nut."
Amongst my coworker friends…holy cow, don't get me started. Let's just say that among mainstream medical personnel, particularly in the areas I work, my views on things like unmedicated/intervention-free childbirth, vaccinations, contraception, and circumcision aren't...well, mainstream. I don't go looking for debates, but I don't exactly keep my opinions to myself when the subjects come up, either.
My goal is always to be laid-back and easygoing rather than "in your face", and I do my best not to offend. But I can't let myself be bothered by the folks who are going to be offended regardless.
Sometimes it feels kind of lonely being the outsider. Sometimes I'm glad that I'm not like everyone else. Sometimes I think that I'm probably not really so different from anyone else. I wonder if I'm not the only one out there who doesn't feel like they really belong anywhere.