I slid into the booth at Kneaders opposite Salena, excited to chat with this woman I recently met but feel like I’ve known for years. Over her fruit tart and my breakfast croissant, she and I meander down a long road of conversation, lingering here and there at points of interest.
She is an Army wife and I am a former Air Force wife. As we travel through our conversation, we stop and ask each other this question: Did you ever live in a place where you struggled to fit in?
While the locations mentioned differed, we both experienced what it was like to be placed in a community that didn’t fit well. Although folks were kind, they weren’t necessarily receptive to our presence. For a long time, we were on the outside looking in, showing up at the party but not really welcomed through the front door.
For you, maybe it was something else that brings this awareness to you. Maybe you attended that conference chock-full of people who do what you do, except in your mind they all do it better. Maybe you changed churches and it’s taking endless months to feel like you fit in with that community group. Or perhaps you’re the new girl at the new job, and you haven’t figured out how to connect with your co-workers. Whatever it is, it’s like all those around you know the hilarious inside joke, and you’re expelling quite a bit of effort not to look like you don’t.
It’s really no fun at all.
When I’m on the outside looking in, I want to do all kinds of things to fix the problem. I want to wave my arms wildly and get noticed. I want to jostle my way into the front of the crowd. Or I want to go the opposite direction and move completely inward, believing I’m too small to count. Either way, I’m anxious to do something that will bandage up my hurting heart.
Read the rest here and share about a time you’ve been on the outside looking in?
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