Sometimes I think we look for ways to exclude ourselves. I think this because I do it. I think this because my friends do it. Do you do it?
I had a really great, kind of therapeutic, complaining session with a friend the other day where we listed all of the ways we don’t fit in any more. We didn’t talk about not fitting in with the abercrombie & fitch crowd – that ship sailed ages ago. Wait. No. Neither of us ever got on that ship in the first place – not even when it was docked in the harbor with the “welcome aboard” flag flying.
Our situations are similar and different. We live near each other, share church, adopted a child from the same adoption agency, and can talk infertility and injustice ’til we’re blue in the face. Those are the ties that bind. So, we like to talk about how those similarities sometimes make it difficult to fit in with other crowds.
We’re never going to be comfortable or have anything to say during the labor and delivery and/or breastfeeding conversations. Never.
Our age and children’s ages slot us into two different groups. Based on our age (okay, really just mine), we should have kids graduating from high school. Based on our kid’s ages, we should be solidly in the 20-something crowd of young moms. So playgroups are with other women much younger and we’re the only ones at the 20-year high school reunions who had to find babysitters in order to attend.
But ever since we had this complainy, awesome conversation, I have been thinking maybe we’re looking too hard at reasons we don’t fit. Maybe we should half-full this little problem of ours. We get to hang out with young moms because of our kids. We get to hang out with “old” friends who can provide their children as babysitters for our kids! We never have to talk about labor and breastfeeding! Seriously. Why are we sad about this?
Thinking about it this way has led me to think of larger ways I’ve excluded myself when all I really needed was an attitude adjustment.
Yesterday, I was in a bookstore with ALL of my sisters (four that belong to me and two that married my brothers and so, now, belong to me) and my mom. And I found myself completely engaged in perusing and recommending books in the Math section to my sister who just got her Master’s Degree in Math Education. And she didn’t drag me there – I took her there, “have you read this? this? this? oh, I loved this!” By the way, Naked Economics – a must-read!
This was remarkable because my smart sister and I have clearly marked out our territories – I got English and she got Math and never the twain shall meet thank-you-very-much! But last night, it didn’t divide us. We shared it. So cool.
So, I think instead of focusing on how I don’t fit, maybe I will start embracing the unfitness of it all. You should too. Look at how your uniqueness makes you just perfect enough to fit there, there, there, and there. So cool.
And now a picture of my sistas and our brilliant, amazing mom:
These women. No kidding. The best!