Living Outside of the Lines When You Don’t Blend In


I just want to be normal.

My heart aches deeply whenever I hear my son say this. I understand this feeling more than he can fathom. I faced the same struggles at his age, and speaking honestly, I often still do.

So many of us dream of blending in. Of feeling accepted. Of being another regular face in the crowd.

Instead we become fluent in the nuance of the dismissive body language of others. We try to join the herd only to find that we are met with annoyed looks, caustic comments, or the cold shoulder. We feign strength and indifference on the surface, but we are aching and crumbling on the inside.

Why don’t they like us? What are we doing wrong? What can I do to change myself?

Well I have a few suggestions that I believe hold merit:

  1. Refrain from acting like a jerk in return.
  2. Use deodorant, brush your teeth, and shower every now and then.
  3. Don’t change a damn thing.

If other people treat you with tremendous unkindness, it speaks to the faults in their character, not yours. No one races to buy a book or jumps on the internet to search for a story about someone normal. We don’t clamor for more movies about the bland life. The world is not changed by people who live life inside the lines.

The people who shake things up are anything but average. They are the unathletic types. The nerds. The misfits. The weirdos. The losers. They are made to feel less than because they don’t fit the mold.

People who are secure in themselves don’t need to step on someone else to build self worth. Never allow others to make you feel small because they can’t see their own value. Your light will always shine even when another tries to keep you in their shadow. Their ugliness does not detract from your beauty nor does their unkindness reflect on your truth.

We are better because of our differences, not in spite of them. We each have unique roles to play, and the divine colors we bring to our part in the scene are not there by chance. You my precious darling are so far beyond the standard. You were never meant to blend in, and no matter how hard you may try, you never will. You are spectacular, you are miraculous, and you are a world changer.

Own your beauty and your uniqueness. Forget trying to blend in, tell the status quo where to stick it, and embrace life outside of the lines. You never have to run with the herd. You were made to soar!

Love and light always – Joanna

This post is dedicated to all of the incredible misfits of the world, especially the ones who call me Mom.

painted bunting

***For the bird nerds in training (like me), the beauty in this photo is a painted bunting. The solid blue birds in the top picture are indigo buntings. I was beyond thrilled to see these stunning birds outside my window last weekend.  🙂


39 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. manyofus1980
    Apr 29, 2018 @ 18:13:49

    Thank you Joanna! Thanks for such a powerful post! I needed to hear this right now. xxx


  2. Karla
    Apr 29, 2018 @ 18:16:25

    We get get it! You fit in with us. Not sure if that’s where you want to fit in, but none the less, you have a herd! And, I’m super jealous of those bird pictures. I have not seen birds like that in my yard and I’m not that far away! Karla


    • MoJo
      Apr 29, 2018 @ 18:21:22

      Girl I will ALWAYS be ecstatic to run in your herd, fly in your flock, and swim in your school. You couldn’t kick me out if you tried! 😉 xoxox


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  4. José María López
    Apr 29, 2018 @ 19:00:03

    You reminded me of Steve Jobs´ “stay hungry, stay foolish” speech at Stanford. I loved those 4 words as much as I loved this post.


    • MoJo
      Apr 29, 2018 @ 19:31:20

      That’s one of the best compliments I have ever been given. I can’t tell you how much I love you for saying that. And yes, we should all be so lucky to be a tenth as hungry and foolish as that man. So far I’ve definitely mastered the hungry part (as an be seen in my fridge) However I think I may be taking foolish in the wrong direction. ;). Thank you so so much again. Really. ❤️


  5. Sharon
    Apr 29, 2018 @ 19:01:51

    Great one Jo….fitting in is highly overrated!! It used to bother me that I felt like I didn’t belong where I was, but as I get older I find it maternity less and less. I want to stand out…I want to make a difference!! ❤


    • MoJo
      Apr 29, 2018 @ 19:36:41

      It’s funny how we just want to be able to assimilate when we are young. I guess that never changes for some people, but like you, it just isn’t that important to me at this point in my life. Unless we are swimming with sharks. Maybe then I vote yes on blending. 😉


  6. MoJo
    Apr 29, 2018 @ 19:29:25

    That’s one of the best compliments I have ever been given. I can’t tell you how much I love you for saying that. And yes, we should all be so lucky to be a tenth as hungry and foolish as that man. So far I’ve definitely mastered the hungry part (as an be seen in my fridge) However I think I may be taking foolish in the wrong direction. ;). Thank you so so much again. Really. ❤️


  7. José María López
    Apr 29, 2018 @ 19:42:16

    Jaja. Same as me, the hungry part will always be in my life. Talking about misfits, did you see the movie “Wonder” with Julia Roberts?


  8. shalini
    Apr 29, 2018 @ 20:48:02

    Hey Jo, how are you doing, girl? We are better because of our differences. This is so so true. It is only later we understand this basic fact of life.
    In school, I never understood why I am not liked. I tried to blend in, I suppose, but couldn’t. So I became a quiet and lonely. Took me years to understand and accept a lot of things.
    I wish we could give that maturity and understanding to our kids but we can’t. We can only tell them and show them.
    For decades, I wished I was normal. It took me all this time to understand that there is nothing like normal.
    Ask your son to write. Have him write a guest post here. When he sees the love outpouring, he may understand. I write now, so that when I read, I understand. But Jo, it took me all my life to understand why I am the way I was/am.
    I hope you are doing very well. All my love 💜💛💜


    • MoJo
      Apr 29, 2018 @ 22:35:30

      I’m still waiting for my own understanding and maturity to arrive! 😉 But of course I know exactly what you mean. I do believe that the rough experiences shape up. We are better because of them, but that doesn’t mean that we want to go through again nor do we wish them on our children. There isn’t enough money that could convince me to go through those experiences again. My prayer is that like you and like me, he becomes stronger in return. I miss you my darling friend and was so happy to see your name pop up here. Big big hugs to you!!! Jo


  9. E
    Apr 29, 2018 @ 21:17:57

    Love it. This made me laugh: “No one races to buy a book or jumps on the internet to search for a story about someone normal.” Fellow weirdos unite!


  10. Inside The Rainbow
    Apr 30, 2018 @ 01:27:07

    Lovely post, Jo X


    • MoJo
      Apr 30, 2018 @ 05:46:47

      Thank you lovely. 🙂 On a side note, I have another blog name that is still pending setup. I’m going to put some of my old posts there as well as some of the newer ones that focus on this kind of stuff. When I started thinking about the various topics I love to write about, that one ran to the top of the list, and I immediately thought of you. If you get a shout out from a random blog you don’t recognjze sometime in the next few days, that will probably be it. So basically this long-winded explanation in advance is actually my way of saying thank you to you. Thank you for always being brave. Thank you for always sharing your experiences. Thanks you for reminding me over and over again that I’m not the only person who sometimes struggles with dancing to my own beat because I can’t figure out how the other damn beat goes. I adore you for that. I really do. You have inspired me since the first time I read one of your posts. You’re the cat’s pajamas my friend. 🤗 ❤️


      • Inside The Rainbow
        May 01, 2018 @ 00:42:12

        Beautiful words, Jo. Thank you! Look forward to reading your new blog. 🙂 Mine’s had a makeover too. Same blog. Different layout. I love ‘cat’s pajamas’ lol. Seeing as I’m a doggie person, you are the dog’s pajamas? Or nightie if it’s hot. Either way, you are pretty awesome! 🙂 X

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  12. overthehillontheyellowbrickroad
    Apr 30, 2018 @ 06:42:09

    Thank you for writing about the misfits. I’ve always been one of them and I’m proud.


  13. Louise Gallagher
    Apr 30, 2018 @ 07:58:31

    What a fabulous post Joanne! The title alone speaks to my heart! Love your three things to do. Thanks for the inspiration.


  14. I tripped over a stone.
    Apr 30, 2018 @ 12:09:02

    Truth! What is that saying? “Never has a well-behaved woman made history”… ~k.


  15. misifusa
    Apr 30, 2018 @ 14:31:32

    My precious girl, my heartlight shines along with yours. Beautiful post! xo


  16. lynnefisher
    May 02, 2018 @ 04:19:10

    Amazing post! So well expressed. It reminds me of a book I read called Blessed are the Weird, by Jacob Nordby, but irregardless of that you’ve addressed this misfit feeling stuff so beautifully!


  17. KDKH
    May 02, 2018 @ 10:36:46

    I agree with everything you say here, but I also encourage other misfits to find their peeps. Somewhere, there are others like us. I found them through blogging and a few small hidden groups in my community. It’s harder, though, when you are a child and your world is your school. Hang in there, all of you.


    • MoJo
      May 03, 2018 @ 00:27:54

      I absolutely agree with you. I always say that marriage is about finding someone who is your brand of weird (because everyone is weird in their own way!). The same goes for friends. I don’t need for my kids to have ten thousand friends. If you are lucky enough to have two really good ones who get you and whom you get, you’ve hit the jackpot. 🙂


    • lynnefisher
      May 03, 2018 @ 03:00:54

      Totally agree KDKH – that has been my experience too


  18. magickmermaid
    May 23, 2018 @ 16:38:33

    Words of wisdom! Super post! 🙂


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