I almost wrote a post last week about my lifelong struggle to feel like I fit in, to seem normal. Something on the inside stopped me, and I am learning to listen to that inner voice.
I will give a bit of context by saying that I live in an area where I am an anomaly in many ways: part of a faith tradition that most have never heard of, politically on the wrong side of things(I do a lot of tongue biting), super Introverted and a bit socially awkward.Even in my faith tradition I sense that I am a bit of an outlier, not having been born into the Church but also not quite Orthodox enough. If I am honest I generally just feel like a big weirdo. Not very literary, but there it is. I was telling myself the story this week that I would never fit in, and I may as well do the best I could, but not to expect too much.
And then. I went to an event for my child yesterday and ran into several folks that I know, including probably my closest female friend. She shared with me some struggles in her family and asked me to light our vigil lamp for them this weekend. I was so honored to be able to do this small thing for this dear person who has often helped me feel less alone.
And then. I got news late last night of another friend whose house burned down yesterday. Just like that. She lives a few streets over from me and has been really supportive of the start of my small business and her children and my daughter play together often. Thanks be to God that no one was hurt, but the home that they loved so much and all of their possessions are gone.
I didn’t think about whether or not I belonged when I reached out to get involved. Something in me just broke free. I know I have written about boundaries a good deal (and I still believe strongly that healthy boundaries are critical) but there are times to let the lines fall away and just focus on our common humanity. I know that if the roles were reversed, either of these friends would be there to help.
Am I still weird? You bet. But I can offer that oddness to God and the world to be used in whatever small way it can be.
Love and peace,