Friday, October 26, 2012
12:00 AM | Posted by Michelle | Edit Post
I was a high school nerd.
I was always on the outside watching the “cool” kids. Wishing secretly that somehow I could break into their clique. Wishing I was part of whatever fun they were having. But if you had asked me then, I would have told you I didn't care. That they were just dumb jocks and self righteous girls. That they should really look at themselves before they said anything. I even antagonized them. I mocked them openly. I flaunted my grades to them. I let them know that I didn't need them. They made sure I was never included. It was a vicious circle.
Of course it probably didn't help that I was on the Health Team (we promoted healthy lifestyles). I was in the Library Club (self explanatory). I was a very minor lead in our high school musical, Grease (I played Ol' Lady Lynch). I was in the Cooks Training Program (we ran the cafeteria). During one of my spare blocks my senior year, I volunteered in the school office. I'm really just digging myself in further about my geekiness.
I hung out with the social misfits. The rockers, stoners, smokers. Ironic, when I was a complete nerd. They accepted me though for who I was and we had a lot of fun. They also were tormented by those alleged “cool kids.” Of course, not to their face but behind their backs (I'm pretty sure the cool kids were scared of the people I hung out with).
Even after high school my social scale never really flew. I hung out with people like myself. For a while I hung out with my ex-boyfriend's bag pipe band. I was also a member of the Society of Creative Anachronism (we pretended we were in the middle ages). It really was as bad as it sounds.
I've never fit in at places I worked at as well. I continued to feel like I was on the outside. I never really got along with some of the women I worked with. I wasn't invited out to lunches. I was invited to evening drinks. I made out like I didn't care. But I would go home and cry. I sometimes would even cry in my cubicle.
I have always made my own circle of friends. Friends who accept me for who I am. Friends who don't judge. I am a very brutally honest person. Sometimes I say things that others don't. Sometimes I shock people. I have lost friends because of this. I don't go against society norms, but I try to be honest. Maybe people don't like that. It's easier to not be honest I guess.
You may wonder why I am writing this. I feel on the outside again. I know some of this is just that a feeling. I am on Twitter. I am on Facebook. I obviously blog. There are many times I'll post something on Twitter or this blog and no one comments. I posted last week on Twitter, that
“realizing more and more how much of an outsider I have become.”
No one commented, although supposedly I have 143 people following me. I'm not complaining. Just stating fact. I linked up to a fellow bloggers blog this week. She has on average approximately 60 people link up every week. Only one person commented on my blog and she is one of my regular followers. (Thank you Andi). Lately people on social media have posted or tagged about going to Allume. (Allume is a Christain Women's Conference inspired by Incourage). I am sure that the 400 ladies in attendance will be lifted spiritually. But there is a little of high school involved in it all. They go on and on for months about it. They all tweet about buying their tickets. They all ask who's going. They all tweet while they're there. I'm not saying that they shouldn't, but there is a little of the haves and haves not.
This isn't just about the social media world either. How many of us don't fit in with the clique at church? How many of us can stand during coffee time and nobody come and talk to us? How many times do people leave our churches because we haven't welcomed them in.
It's hard to put yourself out there. We wonder why we all walk around with masks on. We wonder why we can't be honest? Why are people so scared to put themselves out there? We are afraid of how people will perceive us. We are afraid we won't be accepted for ourselves. We are worried that people won't like us for who we are and not what we bring to the table.
Someone though does love us. Loves us for who we are, not what we are. Loves us even through all the scrapes, scabs, or bloody mess that we are. We are created just as He wanted us. Some of us are taller. Some shorter. Some thinner. Some not so thinner. Some quiet. Some loud and obnoxious (that's me!). God loves us just because we come. Nothing more. Nothing less. He doesn't love us because we fit in. He loves us because He fits us in. We are only made complete through Him. We need to remember this. We need to remember that we only need to find acceptance in Him and nothing else. We need to teach our children this truth. I believe that until we do, the vicious circle of the haves and haves not will continue. The masks will remain. We will never be truly authentic as it is.
This has been very painful to write. I have had to remember those times where I've broken down feeling unaccepted. It hurts as a child and cuts as an adult. The wounds are barely healed. But He is healing them. He is working in me to start this change. To open peoples minds. To tear off our masks. To be as authentic as I possibly can. I pray that this be a place not of judgement, but a place of authenticity. A place of peace and laughter. A place of belonging.
Have you ever felt like you didn't fit in? What masks are you wearing? Come link in with the Java Junkies this week and share your randomness.
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