Yearning to fit in. It seems so junior high; like it should be ancient history. For me, and like many of us I suspect, wanting to feel connected to others or a community is natural. Most of the time, luckily, I feel pretty damn okay.
But then there are things like today’s post on The Single Woman that strike an off-key but meaningful chord. A truly cringe-worthy chord like an echo through the Addams Family home after Lurch lovingly pounds a few melodies out.* Dum-da-da-dum… I saw it in writing and it hits too close to home. All of those shitty feelings: like you don’t belong with your married friends, your friends with kids, your co-workers, the church, and most heart-wreckingly within your family? It stings, sure. Adjustments must be made to relationships, and mostly your own expectations, of course. But it’s probably okay.
So I don’t fit in with my friends with kids, my married friends, my partying friends, or my Tupperware-lovin’ friends…I don’t fit in with my family…and I don’t fit in with the church. What’s a girl to do?
Maybe stop trying to fit in?
Now, this isn’t a scientific or researched or tested and proven theory, this is just me living it and experiencing it and sharing my opinions. But WHAT IF we just stopped trying so hard to belong?
Because here I am, a big, big believer that whatever one feels is real. Feelings create our perception – the glasses through which we view the world – and perception is reality. When I talk to people in crisis, I often assure them that their feelings are real. It’s so hard to doubt that, isn’t it? But the thing I know is that it is not going to do us any good to beat ourselves up about how we feel. Because if feelings were easy to manipulate, my guess is that loneliness would be the first one voted off the island.
But what are we going to do about it? Tender is the wound of those who feel left out. This I know, for the
Bible whiskey tells me so.
Just because it feels all wrong with the people you’ve always felt like you belonged to – or those you’re convinced you’re supposed to belong to – doesn’t mean that your people aren’t out there. You know, the people who feel the same or just get you in an absolute and non-judgmental way.
People who are cool with polishing off a bottle or two of wine on your patio before dinner, which requires pizza delivery because you’re too drunk to drive or cook.
Someone who will remember that one time you said something hilarious at a dinner party that involved something random – say, for instance, like pirate hamsters – and while she can’t come up with the exact story and neither can you, you work together for 30 minutes to reconstruct a version in memoriam.
People who will watch your dog when you’re having a mental and/or emotional break with reality and your patience for caring for yourself, much less another living creature.
People who reflect a little bit of you – the best parts, really – and you love them for reminding you that you are pretty fantastic.
Friends who will admire and encourage your goals and dreams, and will celebrate like hell with you when you accomplish them, or something like them. They’ll probably do shit like add the date for your next nerve-wracking-can-I-actually-accomplish-this race to their calendars because they are simply stellar human beings.
And then I remembered I’d saved a gem from Ash Ambirge on how we all feel a little alone inside without being an escort solicitation, and I hunted it down to share with you. Your people, your go-tos, your sages… whatever you call them, those who you can call without a second – maybe-I-shouldn’t-actually-bother-them-at-this-hour – thought.
Is it any wonder most days I feel pretty damn okay? I know and love some pretty fantastic people.
So. Who are your go-tos?
*Confession: once I started envisioning chords on an old organ, the second movie clip in my mind after The Addams Family was Goonies and the old skeleton organ Andie needed to play for escape from Mama Fratelli and fam. Ohhh, good memories.