There comes a time in your life where you have to stop squeezing into spaces that you have outgrown.
Contortion—fitting in— is a dehumanizing rendering of the soul that never bothers to consider whether joy is a viable outcome in the presentation.
In that instance, the only thing that matters is that you are a part of the group. No one is benefitting, neither you or the group. When you can’t come to a space with authenticity, you spiritually and holistically don’t enter the space. What actually happens is that you become a spectator within a participation activity. Therein you can’t receive and no one can receive from you, you are essential just benumbed air within the room.
When I was a young boy we would play this game call the Hokey Pokey. You would sing this song that went something like this: “You put your whole self in, you put your whole self out, that’s what it all about!” See in the Hookey Pookey space authenticity was a key component for participation. The only way you could come to the space was to come with your whole-self.
In a world where authenticity and honesty are a rarity, the need to “fit in” becomes a survival skill. Nevertheless, those who have chosen to stay on the path of being true to themselves will eventually see the fruit of their labor come to pass. I remember when The Roots came out in the early 90’ with Organix. I heard Black Thought on Teen Summit on BET and thought he was one of the premier emcees in Hip Hop. The Roots dropped subsequent albums and he skills continually flamed throughout each album. But, you rarely heard him on other high-profile emcee projects. But Questlove, one of his bandmates in the group ,made a statement that he gathered from a conversation with Jay-Z. Jay-Z told him that most big named rappers would never jump on a track with Black Thought because they knew that they were going to get outshined because Black Thought was such a monster on the mic.
With that said, you still never saw Black Thought contort to fit into a box. He just blew up his box with the ultimate freestyle with Funk Master Flex. After that midnight maraud, he forever cemented his name as one of the premier emcees in the game of Hip Hop.
He stayed authentic and always brought his whole self to the space.
So stay authentic and bring all your dopiness to the space; we need it and you.