Society is in a constant struggle to fit in, but in our current society it is ever possible to truly belong to anything? Once you feel like you are accepted someone makes you feel like acceptance is so far away. Whether on propose or not people have a way of treating people different or talking down to them if they sound or act differently. The struggle for acceptance deeply hurts many people. You can be told you’re dumb because you have a southern accent or that you are rude if you have a New York accent. The fact is so many cruel things can be said even by the ones you love not always to be vicious but simply because they have been thought to think this way.
Sometimes living in one place your whole life makes you blind to how it feels to sound different. I know I never realized how hard it was to be the one that sounded different. I didn’t realize how easy it was to get so lost in the words of what is supposed to be your own langue. This was all until I had to spend a few weeks in West Virginia.
I looked like I could have lived there except for the way I tried to tip toe around the mud. My uncle knew me as the classic nervous city kid, which made him laugh and want me on the farm even more. He loved laughing at the way I would stay as far away from the animals I was feeding as possible. My face would true a bright pink whenever they move to close to me. Lets just say I wasn’t very good at farm life but to me it was all worth it if they would bring me into town so I could be around people in the afternoon. I had come use to seeing many people after living in a very busy community my whole life. So the slow loneliness of that farm with only cousins and animals to talk were not cutting it.
Finally after two days of waiting they decided to take us all into town. I was so excited to go and see the friends that I had known since two years ago the last time I had come here. They had been emailing me every week since we meant and I couldn’t wait to see them. As we pulled up at the restaurant that I would meet them at I grew very excited. I could see Jessica with her long brown hair tied into a bun standing next Carrie whose short brown hair was bobbing back and fourth as she talked right outside the door. I got out of the car the and ran up to greet them we were all so excited we couldn’t talk for the first 5 minutes then Jess started asking me a million questions all at once her voice seemed to drag on for ever and had that weird kick to it that I had been hearing form my cousins for days. I started talking my words were fast they seemed to dance off my tongue after I finished I looked around to hear an answer and all I saw all I heard was laughing.
“Why do you sound like that”? Carrie giggled
“Like what.” I stuttered sounding nervous.
“Like a you’re in a race it sounds so funny.” She said as she continued laughing.
I was now really upset now for the rest of the day I had to listen to joke after about the way I sounded. The next day my aunt offered to take me down to see them again I refused to go I didn’t want to talk I spent the next week trying to talk just like my aunt just like my cousins they would never laugh at me ever again.
I realized now that changing to fit in was more work then it was worth I was only able to hold on to a week where I felt belonged before I had to come back to Philly and try to sound like I belonged there. I felt so rejected by both sides like I would never feel like I was normal again.
This is a big problem for so many especially for many adults who can’t change how they sound as easily as young people. The inability to fit into this perfect mold that people feel they need to belong to feels like rejection. When people feel rejected they find it easier to reject others. I think this is because they find things to be black and white after that. That is why I think its so easy for it to continue on in a long cycle of sadness and rejection.
People start to try and change like the way the woman in American Tongues hired a speech coach to get rid of her Boston accent. This almost made me sad because she felt so rejected and mocked by her accent that she couldn’t just leave her natural accent alone. I think the current issue of unhappiness with accents can never change because not only are other people judging the person themselves can’t stop judging how they sound. I feel that this is said and think we should all just accept who we are.