Not fitting in is one of the most uncomfortable feelings in the world.
I was that kid in high school. Or maybe we were all that kid. I never fully clicked with any clique. I could roll with the rednecks, I could roll with the freaks, I could chameleon myself into most groups. But none were ever quite the right fit. I was just . . . floating. Smiling and nodding at whoever I happened to be around at that moment.
Such is life, I suppose.
If only we left this silly awkwardness behind in puberty. But so often this little social phenomenon, it follows us right into adulthood. You are blessed indeed if you find a “tribe” of people who love and respect and get you in your own skin – even if that skin doesn’t come in cookie-cutter.
I’ve been riding a certain social fence for too long now. On one side sit the conservatives, the Republicans, the traditionalists. And on the other? On the other side sit the people I long to feel comfortable around. They’re the evangelical rebels. The truth tellers, the fearless ones.
Yet I’ve stayed on this wretched fence for various reasons – even though it’s unfulfilling, restricting, or even sometimes painful. And it’s greatly influenced what I say on my own blog – has caused me to write chained. Because you know what’s worse than not perfectly clicking with a group? Being rejected from it. Being revoked of the option to try.
But as fate (or God) would have it, in these past couple of years I’ve found myself not leaping or falling onto the more comfortable side of the fence that I longed for but . . . being pushed.
And even though I knew it was right and natural for me to pick a side, I guess I just wanted to be the one to do the picking. Or I wanted to ride the fence forever. But what I didn’t want under any circumstance was to be rejected by either side.
So I remained cautious. I dipped my toe and I flirted with jumping in with the rebels. And the crowd, they gasped. Then they either ran to catch me or shrunk back to protect themselves from my landing.
When, earlier this year, I made the decision to write about our journey of leaving our traditional church and fleshing out the why’s of it – I was let go from one of my writing commitments for a conservative site. With gentleness and respect it was explained to me that they no longer felt comfortable linking to my site.
And it hurt like a bitch.
I wish I could say I’m not bitter – but I am. Despite the fact that I knew long before I was released from that obligation that I wasn’t a good fit for that group, it still stung to be rejected.
But it’s okay.
As time goes on I’m embracing the truth that when we let go of the things tying us down from our true skins and callings, new opportunities blossom to replace them.
Next week I’ll be debuting my first post on a brand new site that I am blessed to be a part of. A Deeper Story has branched out into two new channels and I am ecstatic to be one of the new writers for A Deeper Family. The writings are going to be real and they’re going to be raw.
I’m so relieved to have “picked” a side of the fence and fallen amongst open and like-minded souls. Stay tuned.