If there’s one thing I know for sure about not fitting in is it feels like you're alone. I am here to tell you that you’re not alone. If anyone’s an expert on not fitting in, it would be me. I’ve had more careers before I turned 30 than most people have before they retire. The trick is not to give up. That’s hard to do when you see people comfortably thriving inside the box socially, professional and spiritually. Challenging the inconsistencies of the boxes brought me no closer to what I was looking for. In retrospect I could’ve probably fought harder to stay inside one of those boxes. Then again, if I did, well... there wouldn’t be any ringside seats for you to see what happens next!
There are plenty of parallels between my life and the life of Jin+Ja and I hope sharing some of them provides some insight and encouragement for those struggling to stay inside a box they don't fit in.
“What is it?”
The question for the ages. Its not tea but it has tea in it. It’s not an energy drink even though it speeds up your metabolism like a natural turbo charge. Its not a probiotic but it protects the lining of your stomach and GI tract from harm. Its not an anti inflammatory drug even though it works better than they do for all sorts of ailments. Trying to fit Jin+Ja into a box never works because it deny’s fundamental characteristics that only a fool could ignore. Energy drinks don’t protect your organs. Probiotics don’t invigorate you. Iced tea won’t make you feel better when you are sick or have allergy attacks. Jin+Ja does.
It was through Jin+Ja I learned to stop fighting, stop doing intellectual contortions to make something fit in a box it wasn’t supposed to fit in (as lawyers it is your job to do just that…wtf!).
Jin+Ja is simply special, and in a good way.
Accept the simple truth and all the pressure disappears. That’s the beauty of a paradox.
You think I would have come to this conclusion a long time ago since my racial existence for most of my early years was a social paradox. I grew up in the 80’s. America was still a very black and white place where middle ground was still about a decade away.
"What are you?”
For me to claim I was black only told half the story because my mother was white and vis versa (dad being black). It would have been so much easier just to play along with the illusion that life was black and white but my heart just wasn’t in it so I never really could ‘fit in’ making for a colorful childhood. The world eventually changed but other boxes awaited. Imagine an electrical engineer who was more interested in staying up all night listening to live music and writing poetry. An insurance executive who thrived on risk. A patent lawyer driven by passion. An apparent Mis Fit for every box presented, each one more wonderfully safe and secure. Simply special, and in a good way.
To all those misfits out there struggling to find your purpose or your relevancy, take heart because times are a changing’ once again and those boxes are falling apart. I say take heart because there is not only a living, breathing example of someone just like you who is thriving outside of the box but a tangible product created outside of the box, proof that you can touch and taste, that has made it across the country and slipping into the cracks between all those products in boxes on the shelves of every major retailer. It is a reminder that even though you are not like everyone else there is a place for you in this world so don’t give up or give in. You are special and your salvation... no your peace lies within the acceptance of your truth.