I’ve been wanting to write this post for a long time but just didn’t know how to convey what I wanted to say. I feel like I’ve been in a knot over this for a long time and don’t know how to untangle my heart from hurt and disappointment.
I feel like I’ve always been on the fringe of things. An outsider. In the 8th grade, we moved and I had to start a new school. I pretty much spent the entire year hopping from one cafeteria table to the next, trying so hard to find a place to fit in, but always somehow feeling edged out, like I didn’t belong.
In many ways, I’m still table hopping. I’ve joined moms groups, I’ve reached out to new friends, only to feel once again that I’m pushed to the sidelines. That I’m not quite memorable enough to be thought of to call or plan a fun day with. Most of the time I have to do the reaching out, as much as it goes against my personality. But I do it regardless.
When I look back over the years, I see that this is generally a theme in my life. Sure I have made some lifelong friends for which I am beyond grateful, but more often than not, I feel like I’m stuck on the edge, on the outside looking in, wanting to belong. I make the effort to show up, only to be barely met with a quick hello or altogether ignored. It hurts. A lot.
Yes, I am the quiet one. Yes, I am shy in new situations, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to get to know you. And really, I do push myself to make the effort to ask questions, smile, do the inviting. But I find myself consistently disappointed with the lack of response and lack of reaching out.
I see so many others making connections within the same groups and I can’t help but wonder what I’m doing wrong. Why it’s so hard. And it seems like once a few women find each other as friends, then the door is closed. No one else is allowed in. And once again, I find myself being the outsider. You can say it’s just about them and their issues, but after a while, you wonder if it really is just about you.
I don’t believe in being exclusive. I don’t believe in letting the new girl sit by herself and not invite her to come join in. I don’t know why other people can’t make an effort to at least be polite. We don’t have to be best friends, you don’t need to invite me to dinner. But can’t we at least be kind and welcoming when we do see each other? A simple hi, what’s new with you?
I could go on with stories but I don’t want to dwell on those negative feelings. I don’t want to keep focusing on what I don’t have, but how do I not be hurt over this? Maybe this is like dating, where you have to keep weeding and weeding and weeding until you find the right person that you click with. I don’t know. I’m pretty exhausted by all of this.
Really needing to pour my heart out with Shell.