Fitting In

Written August, 2016


Fitting in? No, I’ve never fit in. I’ve never been in… community. Well, a few times… but I’ll get to that.

Church… brings back memories of hiding in the bathroom… how many times can I go to the bathroom before people figure out I don’t actually need to go to the bathroom? How long can I stay in the stall before it starts to look like I have major digestive problems?

How long can I wonder through crowds of people, pretending like I’m looking for someone before they realize I’ve already found the people I was looking for. My parents… they are talking to friends… please hurry up. My friends… they are also talking to friends…. I don’t want to intrude. My peers…. What business do I have talking to them? Nope, can’t show my weakness to them.

What happens when you grow up with strangers? … I don’t want to see those strangers anymore.

Comfort… in the old single mom who seemed pleased to talk to me.

Comfort… in Magda, the older college student who seemed interested in my life.

Comfort… alone, in a tree, on a hilltop, in the fort, on the roof.

 

Alone I thought…. My favorite me is me when I am alone… but she’s so cool! Why can’t someone else know her? I want to be known, I thought.

Alone I can be me….

Oh, it’s not that bad… I have friends… I have had friends…

Now, I have fallen among a group of misfits… it’s not perfect, far from it.

But, I can be me… at least a little more.

With Gary, I can be me… quite a bit more.

But still…

I guess “me” is a culmination of all my memories, thoughts, beliefs, experiences…. Plus, something else, something magical, mystical…. Even I don’t understand. I can’t share all that with another person.

I try with Gary… but still, Oh Lord, I’m longing for something… to be fully known and cherished.

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Photo Credit: Hannah Bradford

You know me and cherish me.

But I still crave it from others… the church.

That’s why it hurts to not fit in. Because it’s the real me that gets in the way. If I could just be conventional, smile, be polite and gloss over my problems, fears, doubts. “Be genuine… but not too much.” Hide my passions, deep joys and love, because those are too raw… too personal… to precious to share. If those weren’t there, I could fit in…. but I don’t want to let go of that stuff… I don’t want to leave me… So, I don’t fit in.

God, why are we so broken? No one fits in.

What do I do? What’s the solution?

I don’t know. Maybe I’ll leave that one unanswered for today.

One day we will know and cherish each other fully… just like you do with us.

But today…. Friendships today is like why I dance… I won’t be good at it in this lifetime, but you gave it to me, so I am going for it. It’s dark ahead and maybe it won’t be what I think it should be, but I dance anyways. Why? Because you gave it to me. I love you…. I love through it. It’s part of my journey… one day it will be beautiful… today it is broken, yet still beautiful.

Thank you for my relationships, with Gary, with family, with friends. Thank you for knowing me and cherishing me.

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About sarjb

I am from Brasil, specifically a town near São Paulo called Atibaia. My parents are from the US and lived in Brasil for around 23 years. I came to the US when I was 18 to begin college. Just a few weeks after moving to the US, I met Gary while swing-dancing at OU (the University of Oklahoma). He later became my husband. I studied Arabic in college and have lived in Jordan for a total of around 2 years (both as a child and during my college years).
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