Hi. I’m Erin, and I’m an Inbetweener.
I’m going to be a little bit controversial by publishing this post, but it’s something that I’ve thought about many, many, many, ma… a f-ton of times.
I am not going to be shy about communicating on this blog that I find myself very lost these days when it comes to where I fall into society as I am a ‘master of none’ when it comes to fitting neatly into any particular social group.
I see so many posts on social media (to which, I am a minimalist ‘user’ of these apps) of women coming at each other for who online should be seen and heard and which opinions should matter and it is easy to walk away from these conversations thinking, “Where the hell do I fit in here?”
Maybe fitting into the conversation isn’t necessary to you, but it should be to some extent.
Over the years – from previous blogs I created (RIP, BeetsPerMinute.com) – I have been told I’m a fatphobic personal trainer, sizeist, too fat to be a personal trainer, and that my opinion doesn’t matter because of the package, I come in. I obviously can’t relate because I am too thin, too fat, or too up my own ass.
Oh, and I live in a foreign country.
It’s exhausting, and I’m not kidding.
And if you’re reading this post, you have probably experienced this too.
Firstly, I am not a fatphobic person. I have struggled with my weight and was diagnosed and treated for multiple eating disorders. I prefer to take care of myself, eat well (but let’s be real, I eat chips, chocolate and diet soda most days of the week) and care for my mental health and how I care for myself creates the package I come in. I don’t think I’m better than anybody else or that by being who I am; I am saying the package other people come in is any worse.
I work to HELP people repair their relationship with food, and their bodies and part of that is that I talk about exercise and making healthy choices whenever possible.
On the other hand, I’ve heard comments about how I don’t “look like a trainer” or perplexed looks when I drink a Coke Zero or eat a cheeseburger because people who ‘preach’ – (okay, then) health and fitness shouldn’t be broadcasting such devious behaviour.
Sometimes, it simply feels like I can’t win. I am sure most people feel this way – especially other women.
These days it feels like no matter what you think or says you are offending somebody. And sure, people have always been offensive, and I am in no way saying disrespect and degradation should be allowed or excusable, but it would be nice to feel like it’s okay to be still acknowledged as a struggling and evolving human even if somebody else thinks your life is more comfortable than theirs.
So, what is an Inbetweener – I mean, besides a HILARIOUS British tv show?
An Inbetweener is a person who is between two extremes, two contrasting conditions.
I think there are a lot of us Inbetweeners. Hell, even my age makes me feel like I’m smack dab in a grey area of existence. I’m too young to be middle-aged and too old to be ‘finding myself’ (as if…).
And too thin to be fat, but too big to be considered skinny and too old to have children but too young to say ‘I’m too old to have children.’
That’s a very brief overview of the ways that a person can feel like an Inbetweener, but those are just a few that I struggle with.
And it all comes down to egos (mine included) negatively controlling our identities. I won’t wax philosophical too deeply here.
I recently read Ryan Holiday’s book; Ego is the Enemy. In his book, Holiday touches on how social media gives instant fame and recognition thus fuelling ‘ego’ — a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance — in today’s modern society.
He discusses how people trap themselves with ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ and develop an obsession with themselves. And that Twitter is the worst showcase of the ego at work by placing the focus on an extreme notion of one’s thoughts and opinions being important.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen some great stuff on Twitter and obviously I encourage the sharing of tweets, but Holiday’s take on the ego’s role in social media usage made me think about that saying, “If everyone is special no one is”.
I mean I have this blog, and it’s nothing special, but I enjoy writing about the things I think about and if you want to read it, awesome. But like also, why do I think anybody would like it? Would I hope people do? Of course.The ego's role in social media usage made me think about that saying, “If everyone is special no one is”. #ego #selfawareness Click To Tweet
But see, the key to taming the ego is sharing your gifts with others while remaining humble about it – and this is something many people fail to do these days.
People will protect themselves and their opinions (egos) no matter the result.
Even if the result of such protection forces many people to feel as though they don’t belong in any particular group.
Or maybe we don’t need to belong, after all.
What do you think?