The Odd Man Out

This quote from the brilliant but tortured Irish playwright/poet Oscar Wilde is one of my favorites:

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

And the birds sometimes remind me.

Last week I was walking though Green Cay Wetlands when I came across an adorable scene: five little ducklings and a mama mottled duck hanging out on a log. But it was the little guy on the left that captured my heart. Standing apart from his siblings, he was truly the “odd duck”. While the other four were safe and content to stick close to mom, the free-spirited one was stepping out on his own.

Mother mottled duck and five ducklings.

Mother mottled duck and five ducklings.

Have you ever felt like the “odd man out”?

Marching to the beat of your own drum? Not conforming to other people’s ideas of who you should be, what you should believe or how you should act? You might be tempted to agree with the crowd, fearing their displeasure if you speak your truth. Maybe you deny your true feelings to please a lover, or  follow an expected career path even though your heart is calling you in a different, less conventional direction.

Mottled duckling

Take a look at the photo below for another example: A great white egret in the middle of a group of roseate spoonbills. Definitely out of place, but he stands out because he’s unique.  Do you think he’s feeling self-conscious, saying to himself “Well, this is embarrassing. Everyone else at this party is wearing pink. What will they think of me?”

Roseate spoonsbills and white egret

A group of roseate spoonbills and a white egret

Not at all!  So stop trying to fit in and be your own crazy, fabulous self! Remember this great quote from Barnard Baruch:

Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

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