What I learned from trying to fit in is that I don’t, but it took me a long time to let go of trying and to accept my freedom and choice to not have to fit in. Not with any group. Not with any state or any nation. Not with any idea, concept or god.
Señor Tao (April 17, 1948 -)
Even during the times in my life when I tried to fit in, I did not. I never have. I know now in retrospect not fitting in was a good omen for how to live my life.
Although it is rather easy now, my life has not always been so. But I am not here to tell you of the dramas and difficulties of being me. You will undoubtedly encounter, confront and hopefully overcome your own. I am here to encourage you not to give up on your dreams for any person nor succumb to your own self doubt. Dreams require persistence. That is why we can not remember them unless we make them important when they visit us. They will come true in time if nourished with steadfastness and love, believe me.
I am asking you to make the difficult and often painful choices we all have to make during our lifetime and to learn to accept and to live with the consequences of our choices. I am writing to tell you to believe in yourself when all around you are voicing their doubts or saying to you, “mend my life,” please. I am asking you to forge ahead at all costs. To be “determined to do the only thing you could do – determined to save the only life you could save,” especially when you are out in the world wandering about feeling lost or with no immediate destination. Know this truth, all who wander are not necessarily lost. I am writing to tell you to “follow your bliss,” to trust your feelings and to search with your heart more than your brain.
You will of course be ostracized. You will be labeled a dreamer and perhaps called crazy. You will be shunned for your brilliance and not receive any invitations to join the “in crowd.” It will not seem so at the time but you will eventually learn to see this budding uniqueness inside you as a gift. Time alone without having to follow any circuitry other than your own. You will realize you are not a cog in the construct but the wheel around which everything else turns. I learned all these things because I did not fit in to the box which human kind labeled “normal.”
There remains much, as Jorge Luis Borges points out, that I still do not and will not know during this lifetime but I do know my “enduring name in the register of Light.” My name is Tao. I am simultaneously everything and nothing. Stardust and flesh. I know this body is merely on loan to me. I will return it soon to the dust from which I came. A little worn like a well read book but well loved and appreciated. “Most of my hair has been loved off” already.
I am grateful for not fitting in for it was this gift which has had a great influence in the shaping of my life.
The title for this writing was borrowed from a quotation in the graphic novel Stardust, a romantic fantasy by Neil Gaiman. StarDust is also the title of one of my poems written in 2003 following the release of my love’s essence from her encasement in clay. Señor Tao.