Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, February 11, 2011


At least two different bloggers that I know of wrote about being an outsider this week. It is something I've written about before and something I think about a lot because it is something I feel frequently. I've always thought this was a flaw in me. Now I know differently. It's part of what makes me me. I want to thank Dani Shapiro http://danishapiro.com/ and Tabitha Bird http://tabithabird.blogspot.com/ for their take on this. Both posts helped me move closer towards accepting myself just as I am.

When I was a child, I looked at other families and wished I belonged there. When I would see friends laughing and giggling together, I wished I belonged there. When I saw couples who seemed to be deeply in love, I wish I belonged there. When I saw a mother/father/child out together, enjoying each other immensely, I wish I belonged there.

For a long time I sought the answer to where I belonged, where I fit in. Now I know that although I am not always comfortable or happy, I am exactly where I belong--right inside my own skin in a world I get to create by my choices. I still feel like an outsider, but it no longer makes me feel freakish or as if there is something wrong with me. I think we are all outsiders to some degree or another. Some of us act as if a whole lot better than others of us.

What about you?


L. Diane Wolfe said...

I often wished I was someone else or somewhere else, but now I'm very happy being me and where I'm at right now!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm glad you found a place to belong, Karen.

Jules said...

One step in one day, all we can ask for. Happy for the inner understanding, tomorrow another step :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Joanne said...

I saw Michael J. Fox give a lecture recently. He said that life comes down to a series of choices. When I really think about that statement, there is so very much truth in it. And it's ultimately empowering to understand this. So kudos to you for creating your world, your choices.

Karen Walker said...

Diane, that's wonderful. Me, too.
Alex, thank you.
Jules, yes one step in one minute in one hour in one day at times.
Joanne, he is so inspiring, isn't he? It is all about choices.

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Anonymous said...

Interesting post, Karen. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I guess it's defining what one is outside OF. I felt like I didn't "fit in" with my classmates when I was a teenager; I wasn't one of the "popular" kids. But now, looking back, it all seems so arbitrary. I think what you say--"I am exactly where I belong--right inside my own skin in a world I get to create by my choices"--is right on, and beautifully says it all!! We CHOOSE what we want to be, how we want to feel.

Have a great weekend!!!
Ann Best, Author

p.s. sorry about my glitch above! I'll blame it on a long, difficult week!!

KarenG said...

I often feel like an outsider as well. I've come to accept that's part of my emotional makeup, that as you said so well, makes me who I am. In other words "it's not them, it's me." But in my own family, with my husband and children I never feel like an outsider. So being a mom has been the greatest blessing in my life and made me feel like I truly belong right here.

Mary Vaughn said...

Being the "outsider" and wanting to be someone else is why I write. In my stories I can be any type of person I like, fit in or not. This time around it's my choice no someone else's.

Karen Walker said...

Ann, so sorry you had a long difficult week. Hope it gets better and you have a great weekend. No worries about the glitch. Life's too short.
Karen, yes, being in a loving family makes a huge difference.
Mary, it's a wonderful reason to write.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I've always felt different because I cultivated the outsider-role....looking at life through a lens helps me write. I'm not especially connected sometimes, but I'm never self-conscious about being on the outside because it can be a real asset.

I think that *wanting* to be on the inside, and not feeling part of it--that would be so hard. I'm happy that you're at a place where you feel you belong. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

I was one of the lucky ones - I grew up surrounded by love and safety ... not a lot of money, but who cared? :)

Still, I've always been a little different - a little unusual ... but again, I'm lucky - being different has always been okay.

Anonymous said...

Really, every man seems to be unsatisfied in his life - we think we are poor or not very beautiful but with time these feelings come outside - new problems and interests appear.

Mason Canyon said...

Your post made me think about sometimes when I see a plane fly over I wonder what it's like to be one of those people in that plane. Then in the next second I realize those people probably have as many problems (if not more) as I do and I'm okay where I am.

Thoughts in Progress