Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

I am on the phone chatting with my friend “Nellie.” We share two different realities with one common denominator. We are both husbandless.

“Nellie” lost her husband too early in life.

Me, I am losing mine because of divorce.

Despite the fact that “Nellie” and I have arrived at the same crossroads for different reasons, we talk about the suburban isolation we now feel.

In the beginning of my divorce process, I felt awkward when I would enter a party, go to a game or walk into a school function. It felt as though I was wearing a dress that was two sizes too small. The dress just no longer fit. In fact, it was so uncomfortable that it felt like my underwear was riding up, my bra strap was showing or my outfit was see through.

Nothing fit properly. Nothing felt right.

I was no longer a two, a pair, a double, a duce, a twin.

I was solo, singular, uno, an only child.

Only I still wore the same clothing I had always worn. I was still me.

It reminded me of high school. Suburbia had an expectation of me to fit in and be popular. I needed to be like everyone else and if I wasn’t then I would no longer be popular. I couldn’t be different because just like high school different was not appealing.

It has taken me some time to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

In high school I never felt the need to fit in. I was the last girl to do everything. I was a leader not a follower. I was the girl drinking diet coke next to the keg (I will admit I made up for this in college).

I didn’t have a goal of being in a certain clique. I had only one objective. To treat everyone the same.

So that’s where I find myself again.

I do not need to fit in. Though I won’t lie. It was difficult to leave the group. No, it was painful.

I loved suburbia in the way I had come to live it.

However, now that I recognize the high school resemblance. That there are the same insecurities and intolerance for difference. The same fear of not wanting to stand next to someone who might stand out – I am more comfortable being uncomfortable.

I was never a fan of being popular. I enjoy being liked, I do not need to be liked. I enjoy being respected.

I felt most uncomfortable in my skin when for the first time in my life I actually tried to and needed to fit in – when I wasn’t ready to leave this clique called suburbia.

Tears are unexpectedly making their way down my cheeks as I write this. The funny thing is…those tears were once for my tight fitting uncomfortable dress. They were for exiting suburbia.

Only today, these tears are for me. They are for the realization that I hadn’t lost suburbia. I had lost myself. I had lost sight of the fact that I never cared what people thought of me if it compromised what I thought of myself.

How foolish of me.

I had never been popular for being a part of a crowd. I had been popular for walking away from the crowd.
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