How do you try to fit in?
Today our children refused to nap, and I was so tired I took it as some sort of mutiny against me. Not that they cared. So I filled my thermos with coffee, packed everybody in the car, and drove to induce naps.
While they dozed, I turned off into an exclusive neighborhood I was curious to explore. I’d heard about it from friends, but never actually been in it. The homes there intimidate. They stretch over the lawn and rise up above you, so I stopped and gawked. A car came up behind me, and for a moment, I felt foolish, as if the driver knew, just as I did, that I didn’t belong in one of these homes.
Homes that require you to shower. Or that he not wear his Batman shirt every single day.
When I first stayed home, I struggled to define who I was by fitting in because I had lost sight of myself. And I missed knowing who I was. My parents were the sort of people who cared more about what you save than what you show. Yet in today’s culture, sometimes I feel what you spend establishes your position in society. It’s your handbags. Your shoes. Your hair. And I took my spending cues from our neighbors.
But that’s not how true friendships form. What I’ve since learned is you can’t sustain a connection through a shared image. Because it’s your rough parts that define who you are.
And there is beauty in the chaos, reminders of our humanity: unkempt moms pushing babies in strollers with toddlers ambling behind them, bicycles toppled in front lawns, a plastic pool in a driveway, a hose accidentally left on. Because that is what life looks like. Life is not still.
Do you fit in where you live?
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