I remember the moment well. I walked into the high school gym and scanned the bleachers for a seat. Before me was a sea of faces, most I knew, because in any small town everyone knows everyone, if not personally, well…I knew who their sister was, or I knew that she was the checker at the grocery store. But at the moment, I felt so small…before me was a packed auditorium, and I couldn’t find one place to fit it. Everyone in front of me had groups of family, or friends, and I was on the outside looking in. I was a single mom, with all kinds of superficial friends, but where did I really fit in?
I’ve felt that feeling again, recently. Although I’m no longer single, and 15 years have passed. I don’t know many people yet in this small town, but I remember that moment, I know this feeling…I am on the outside looking in.
I look into this large group of people who I can see have a warm loving family, I can tell that they are nice people, but I watch from the outside of this group and don’t receive any invites to be a part. In the place that I’ve gone, being assured that they seek new friendship, not one person is reaching out to me.
Truth is…the shoe has usually been on the other foot. I have most times been a part of the “inside”. And now I ask myself the question, “who did I leave out?, who did I not notice?, who needed a friend and I ignored because I wasn’t looking, or even worse because I felt uncomfortable approaching a stranger?” ” Who was the person on the outside seeking to be a part, seeking to connect with someone? ”
Look around. Do you know of a recently divorced person, a college student away from home, a widower, someone new to your area, a parent with an empty nest? Do you know someone who has remained single, who has no children? Do you know of a single mom, a disabled homebound person, a teenager who needs your attention?
People need people. People need connections. And there are people all around you just wanting a place to fit in. All it takes is a handshake, a smile, an invitation-“would you like to join me”. All it takes is reaching out and showing sincere interest in someone else.
I’m on the “outside looking in”, and I wish that someone on the “inside”, would take the time to look at me and invite me in. How many people have you left out?
Love and Blessings.
Love this! So true from both viewpoints. I feel ya about being outside looking in, I know that feeling all to well. I however have been one to accept new people into the group and try to include them and make them comfortable when I have been the “insider”. Wished you lived closer, we could become our own insider group and welcome others into it!
Thanks for you comments. Actually, I was really trying to make both viewpoints. I’m a pretty outgoing gal and am not afraid to join small groups, or introduce myself…so don’t think I’ll have trouble. But has really been a wake up call for me, and for all the times I’ve been on the inside. I will change my ways.