I am once again participating in Five Minute Friday. Lisa-Jo is on vacation, so it is being hosted this week by Crystal Stine! The topic for the week is “Belong” – the rules are always the same. Five minutes of writing with no editing and no second guessing. So, here goes:
I love the feeling of belonging. I guess you could say I long to belong. I have always felt this way to a certain extent. I don’t know if it is a reaction to my mom’s seeming resistant to “belonging” to anything. She didn’t like organizations. She didn’t get involved in groups. And even when I was on teams when I was younger, she would choose the more solo efforts required of parents rather than getting involved in group planning, etc. Part of it may have been my dad’s alcoholism. Part of it was probably her constant doubting/judging of herself. But, there was definitely a resistance there. So, maybe my want/need to belong was a sort of rebellious action.
In high school, I ran for student government despite being one of lower status on the high school social scales. I was a successful athlete, so I had some recognition despite the fact I didn’t really dress right and my hair was always short and somewhat lacking in style due my 4 – 6 hours of swimming everyday (I was on the swim team, diving team, gymnastics team – I didn’t have time or money to have fancy hair or clothes). But, I ran for an uncontested office and won. I also participated in our county’s Jr. Miss competition and won and was able to compete for the State title. Again, not exactly where I “belonged,” but I loved it. It seemed like it opened up a whole new space for me. A space where I was part of a group. I was “approved”. I did social things due to my participation in these groups. It was fun. It was social. And I loved it. I decided that even when I didn’t quite feel like I belonged somewhere, I could still be a part of something.
I am still fighting that battle. I join mom’s groups. I went to my church’s women’s retreat despite not knowing another person at the church yet. I volunteered at VBX and loved it. And I’m sure I will be involved in my daughter’s school next year. I don’t always feel like I “belong,” but it is still good to be part of something bigger than myself.