Dash of Sass: The Beauty of Not Belonging
Quote of the Day:
Some of us aren’t meant to belong. Some of us have to turn the world upside down and shake the heck out of it until we make our own place in it. ~Elizabeth Lowell
Sometimes you have to wander around until you find where you really belong. ~Rachel Gibson
The Single Woman Says:
Do you ever feel like you just don’t quite…FIT?
I think there are few groups who struggle so much to find a place to belong as single women. I’ve been struggling with this myself lately. I’ve outgrown the friends who just want to go out and hit every so-called “hot spot” in town on the weekends. I haven’t yet grown into the friends who are having Tupperware parties. (Yes, Tupperware parties. In their 30’s. I can’t fathom it, myself. I mean, what am I supposed to store in Tupperware? My leftover Lean Cuisine?) I don’t have a significant other to come home to, or to go out on cute little double dates with my friends who have husbands and boyfriends. I can’t really relate to my single friends with kids, and booking time with them around school and dance and playdates is hard. Churches don’t seem to really know what to do with their singles once they graduate college, so instead of preparing us for life, they’re preparing us for marriage. Which would be great if we were all prepping for marriage…but right now, I’d be better served by learning how to change a tire or pay off credit card debt.
I don’t even really fit in with my family most of the time. Instead of an adorable, chubby-cheeked, drooling baby that would encourage my parents to visit more often, I have a grumpy, finicky cat in dire need of a bath and a haircut. This summer my sister and brother-in-law and her kids have already taken a family trip to Disney World, and my mom and dad are planning a couple’s trip to the mountains and I find myself left out of the equation of both families. Perhaps if I had the husband, I might have been a part of my sister’s vacation plans, or if I had the baby, I might have been a part of my parents’…but instead it’s just me. And I don’t really belong with either.
So I don’t fit in with my friends with kids, my married friends, my partying friends, or my Tupperware-lovin’ friends…I don’t fit in with my family…and I don’t fit in with the church. What’s a girl to do?
Maybe stop trying to fit in?
Now, this isn’t a scientific or researched or tested and proven theory, this is just me living it and experiencing it and sharing my opinions. But WHAT IF we just stopped trying so hard to belong? Maybe, single women…for this season of our lives, at least…we’re not supposed to belong to anyone other than ourselves. Maybe it takes some time NOT fitting in to discover where we really DO fit. Or maybe we were never meant to fit at all. You and me? Maybe we’re people who weren’t born to follow the path but to discover it. What if instead of trying so hard to belong, we just celebrated the NOT belonging? What if we got really, really okay with our place in life and just OWNED our awkwardness? What might change for us?
Well, we’d be a lot less lonely. We’d realize that maybe we don’t have a baby or a husband or Tupperware, but we do have freedom and independence and a blank slate to draw our lives exactly the way we want them to look. Maybe we’d even teach ourselves how to change a tire and pay off credit card debt. Maybe we’d take our own vacations, where we’d get to set our own itineraries instead of following someone else’s schedule.
Or maybe we’d finally understand that this NOT fitting in isn’t such a bad thing after all. Maybe we’d find that the search for belonging was never really supposed to teach us how to belong…but to live bigger, better, braver lives.
Wow, what a powerful message! As a nearly 40 year-old, never married, single female, I often struggle with how to fit in. I am learning to let go and enjoy having fun by myself.
Mandy, you are so awesome!! I am a 34 year old single woman who can really relate to your stories. I don’t fit anywhere too, not among my married friends with kids, not among my single friends who are so much younger than me, not among families. I am taught to live up to a certain sets of expectation. I am so glad someone totally understand what I am going through. We should be happy and live our life.
Great blog! Next week I fly off to my brothers wedding in Scotland, the third of my brothers to get married each year. Now I am the only single one, as everyone else has children and mortgages. Thank you for this message, and its very true, lets lead bigger, better, braver lives! well done!
I did have all that but my children are grown, my 26 year marriage is gone. I don’t know where I belong anymore. I go to church and all they talk about are families, spouses and raising kids. What I am being to understand is that I only have to belong to God. I knew this already but now I really have to believe it and I do! I am learning to enjoy my singleness even if being single isn’t what I chose. God sent me a best friend to share life with and you know what? We have fun even in our tears, sorrows and joys. Thank you for your blog.
Nicely said, I sometimes found myself NOT that fit IN most of the family gatherings. It’s just awkward. Thanks for the message. I guess, celebrating the not FIT IN is just what I need at the moment. ‘Be anyone where needed’ is what usually motivates me most of the time. Keep spreading great words around, Mandy =) Take care.
Awesome! Just what I needed! 28, single and struggling with not belonging.