Wednesday, June 19, 2013
A friend of mine is in two book groups. She is an avid reader but, like most of us, she probably goes to book group more for the food, wine, and conversation than for the literary analysis. Someone asked her if she preferred one over the other. My friend hesitated, then named one. She said she felt that she "fit in" more with one group than the other.
I've been thinking about her statement since I heard it. Fitting in is important, and I think we often devalue its importance when we talk to our kids about it. We want our children to be themselves and think for themselves, so we act like fitting in is a silly teenage goal. It's not. We all want to fit in, and we should.
Fitting in means you feel a part of something larger than yourself. It means you belong to others.
Trying to fit in--pretending to be something you are not so you appear to fit in--has nothing in common with that, and it's the pretense we want our children to avoid. Acting like you fit in is as lonely as not fitting in at all, but with lies.
The great thing about finding your fit is that it doesn't have to be with the in crowd or the cool kids. You don't need to be the most popular. You need only one friend who values you for who you are. You need one friend who makes you feel at home--who gets your jokes, likes your music, or shares your beliefs. You belong to that friend. You fit.
All it takes is one.
I may not fit in everywhere, but I fit in somewhere, and that makes all the difference. I hope my children find their fit. If there are books, food, and wine there, all the better.
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I have linked this post at Just Write.