Sometimes I feel like I’m the girl that just can’t catch a break, that has never fit or belonged. A pity party for myself I suppose, but I hate to think that I put myself on the pity train everyday. I don’t want to be that girl.
It goes back so many years, my high school days for example. I loved sports, I played basketball, I ran track, I was in band, I was a cheerleader, but I was never quite good enough to be noticed for it. Then again, who doesn’t want to be noticed. It’s not like I didn’t make a huge effort, I did everything that was asked, and more. I think maybe what bothers me the most was since I wasn’t one of “the stars” or maybe it was because my family didn’t have connections, I don’t know. It always felt like I was one of the girls that had to “do some sort of magic” to get noticed. I remember always feeling like all I ever heard was that I wasn’t tall enough, or I should lose a few pounds. I’ll never forget my senior year on parents night, which was the last regular season home game when you were introduced with your parents to the crowd. I had a knee injury and I didn’t get to play. This was always a special night for the team, especially if you were a senior. I remember standing there with tears running down my face, and the coach looked at me and said, “just think how “girl 1” or “girl 2” would feel if this was them. Just imagine that.” As if it would be more traumatic for one of the teams superstars than it was for anyone else.
In track, my favorite race was the 400m. For anyone that has participated or watched high school track, you know that for sprinters, the 400 meter is the race you love to hate. You love to be good at it because it’s an elite group of people that can run that race well, but you hate to run it because it’s just damn horrible. LOL loved that race so much, I can’t tell you how much I loved it, but every year it was the same thing, the coach would tell me your not as goo’d as “girl 1” or “girl 2”, but you’re doing alright. And of course my favorite, “ you’d be faster if you lost a few pounds”. I look back now and I can see that I was not fat, there was nothing wrong with me. I was a sprinter I was made up of fast twitch muscles and I used them well. I always wanted to run the individual sprint events because I would watch the stats in the weekly paper and see that I could compete in the top 10 in our state. But my Coach would consistently load me up on all relays and so I always had to depend on three other people, not just myself. I didn’t mind being a team player, but it would have been nice to earn my own metals and not just for the races that all the credit of the wins were given to other people, never me. It’s like I was just a body to make sure the relay team had 4. Two years in a row watching the stats for the state track meet, I could have placed in two of the three races that I wanted to compete in individually. When I pointed it out to the coach he told me that running it individual and running a split was different the point I’m trying to make is I was never good enough. When I was a teenager, most of my friends were boys the bad thing about that is if you have a crush on one of those boys, no one really takes you seriously because you’re like one of the guys One more example of not good enough I was often called a social butterfly, but when I look back, I felt more like the black sheep. I didn’t really fit into any of the “groups” of teens, I certainly wasn’t asked by many to hang out. But at the same time, if I asked, most would let me.
At home, I was the oldest by 6-10 years. I always felt like my 3 siblings had each other, knew the same people, could have good conversation with each other, but I was like the outsider. They weren’t only siblings, they were friends with each other, knew the same people, went to the same places, I was always just “THE OLDER SISTER”.
Where do I belong? Where do I fit? I’ve never really fit anywhere, except being mom. I fit there. No wonder I take it so seriously and over the top. My family, my children, my grandchildren …its where I fit. Or at least, it used to be. I assumed that all of my children would love me and support me unconditionally, as I have them. Don’t assume.
Just because you love your family unconditionally, doesn’t mean your family will do the same for you. Be thankful for who is actively in your life today, because the tomorrow that you expect, may never come.