How to Fit in By Standing Out

A few weeks ago I went snowboarding in Park City, Utah. Am I good? I suppose for someone who goes once every few years, was born with hyper-flexible legs, and has been described as “floppy” I can hold my own. Rather, I was holding my own until day two when I fell and saw my ankle snap. Yes, saw. I had a white flash moment where the pain was so acute I had X-Ray access to my internals and actually witnessed the damage as it was being done.

While the rest of my group glided into the lift line for another run, I limped to the parking lot–board in hand, pride beneath my heavy boot. Oh, and I cried. I did. I was so over being the one with the mysterious bruise or sliding knee-cap, the one who still can’t do a cartwheel or a handstand without a wall. The first one injured and the last one healed.

Once I got to the car I forced myself to stop crying. I had no choice. Mom always said, “You have five minutes to cry and feel sorry for yourself. After that, dry your eyes and make things better.” So I slid on my cozy boots, grabbed my journal, and went to the restaurant. It was crowded so I put our name on the list for lunch and wrote while I waited for everyone to return.

When the group came off the slopes they were cold and hungry and way too cranky to wait forty-five minutes for a table. Lucky for them they didn’t have to. The moment they arrived we were seated, thanks to me.

And that’s when it struck me. There will always be times in your life when you can’t keep up with the group, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring something to the table. It just means you have to find another way to make yourself useful. And there’s always a way. For example:

Hate drinking but you hang with the party crowd? Be the designated driver. (They’ll LOVE you.)

Can’t snowboard but all your friends do? Shoot the video. (Note: this applies for almost every sport except maybe jogging. In which case meet your friends at the finish line with a bottle of water and join them for the cool down.)

You’re the only single one in the group? Don’t be a downer just because your dream guy hasn’t found you yet. Have fun. Become a wardrobe stylist. Help them pick out date outfits and do their hair.

Not a fan of boy bands but your friends are obsessed? Make mash-ups… your favorites and theirs. The heads of your favorites on the bodies of theirs. Playlists that include everyone’s obsessions. Or hit music festivals where there’s something for everyone. If none of the above works, try earplugs.

My point is instead of hating yourself for not being like everyone else, make your differences work for you… and them. Our true value lies in our individuality, not our similarities. Now stop that crying and go make yourself matter.




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  • Marisa says:

    You should make a movie of of pretenders, just an idea.

  • Mia says:

    Lisi, I absolutely love Pretenders and I cant wait for License to Spill to come out!! I also love writing but I don’t have any great ideas, how do you get your inspiration? It would mean so much to me if you answered, thanks so much xx
    Mia 🙂

  • lozzie lumpkin says:

    did you snap your ankle?? loved the advice, although all your recommends were a little subservient. Why can’t the doers rally around the undoers a little more? Besides which, you know as a single girl, I’d make a terrible stylist. I can hardly even dress myself! Hope your ankle only metaphorically snapped and that’s why you went restauranting. And thanks for the awesome advice!

  • Kailee says:

    This is such a great post! I love what you write (which I guess works since you write books haha). I can relate so much to this, because I’m not super athletic and sometimes I don’t always love being adventurous and doing everything with the crowd, but I LOVE taking pictures and making videos! My friends and I took a trip to California and went to Knott’s Berry Farm, but I’m not a huge roller coaster person, so I just filmed them on all the rides and made a fun video of the whole trip. They loved it and I loved it and we were all happy. Anybody can bring something to the table in a group, sometimes you just have to think creatively and outside the box to make it happen 🙂

  • Lisi…you are the BEST! You give such AMAZING advice in such a clever way. I wait for your blogs every week.

  • Shaila Gottlieb says:


    What AMAZING advice and so cleverly worded with the bring something to the “table” analogy.

    You are the BEST!!


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