I was going to call this post “where do i belong?” but it sounds too similar to a book or movie that I read or saw far too long ago, and now cannot properly recall.
I have always found myself to be an awkward being; short but not too short, quirky but sometimes misinterpreted as ‘weird’, funny but sometimes even my humour flies over my head and just all around odd. My folks were divorced and from a very young age, I was surrounded by an extended family, as both of my parents remarried. I watched my siblings grow up with both mom and dad, and their grandparents, and I never had that. I’m not necessarily complaining, but I do still wonder what it would be like to come home and say “mom, dad… I’m home!” I’ve got step-uncles and aunts, step-cousins and step-grandparents, and I have never felt a part of any of their families. I was always the intruder, the extra person that someone inevitably forgot, and had to quickly make space for at the table. I don’t blame anyone; I was this child just kinda thrust into these families. I wasn’t expected like when a woman is pregnant. I was just there, 2.5/3 year old me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve laughed and cried with my extended family, been involved in family get-togethers and outings, but I do remember 1 negative instance, that is still with me today.
1 set of my step-grandparents were organising a family photoshoot, and I don’t know if she forgot that I was sitting in her office at her feet (I was 10 or so at the time) or if she left me out on purpose, but when she was confirming the number of people with the photographer, she was one person short. I remember sitting in silence for the rest of the day, my heart stuck in my gut, a lump in my throat, feeling so unwanted, so out of place. I remember getting home and asking if I was left out on purpose, and I was told of course not! I was evidently included in the photoshoot, but I wasn’t comfortable; I knew that I didn’t belong in it.
I have gone through my 12 years of schooling, always wondering where I fit in. I didn’t fit in on the sports fields, even though I participated in nearly every sport that my schools offered. I was never the most valued player, and I only ever scored 1 goal in hockey, and I played for 6 years, but I continued with sport because I enjoyed it. But deep down, I knew that people were disappointed when I was put on their teams, because I never really added much value, except that I helped to complete the number of players required. I didn’t really belong in the classroom, as I was so easily distracted during lessons, and I studied far better alone in my bedroom (yes I actually did study 😉 ) that I ended up sleeping through some of my lessons, especially biology. I wasn’t good enough to be voted in as a prefect in both senior primary and high school, was only good enough for cross-country vice-captain and class vice-captain but I was nominated as the Media Centre Chairperson in my matric year. And even that turned out to be an utter disaster, as I kinda let the ‘fame’ go to my head, and didn’t follow through on my duties like I should have.
As an adult, I still wonder where I fit in, and I think that that’s where the majority of my sadness and despondence comes from. If I don’t know where I fit in, how do I know that I belong? Again, just like my post last week, this isn’t a cry for help, or a ‘pity me’ post, but more of a realisation, and it honestly makes sense to me. I have been searching and wondering for so many years where I fit in, that I lost myself along the way, and in my journey to find myself and my place in this world, I brought on my own misery. I mean come on! I even battle with motherhood! I have long believed that motherhood is not for every woman, and since having M-L, I believe it now more than ever.
I love my daughter. She is my life, and she completes me (a total contradiction with regards to the subject of this post, but meh). But motherhood has not come naturally to me. I remember looking at my newborn, thinking to myself “well now what”. Some women carry motherhood well, and it suits them. They just have this natural air and grace about them, and they come across almost as the ‘perfect mother’ (yes I’m generalising). That did not happen with me. I am not scared to admit that I do not enjoy motherhood 24/7, 365. Many a time (countless times in fact) I have just wanted to run away from it all, because it just seemed too hard. The financial constraints, the emotional constraints, the having to deal with puke and poop and pee and DIRT! I think the dirt freaks me out more than the other 3 things! But motherhood, parenthood is hard. And even though I’m doing the best that I can, I still don’t fit. But this is an adjustment that I am in the process of making, because this gorgeous little being is counting on me, depending on me, to come through for her. And I’ll be damned if I don’t try my hardest. So yeah, I’ve learnt how not to put a nappy on, and that just because I like the outfit does not mean that she will, and that “ooooh your hair is so pretty mommy” means that in about 2 seconds I’m going to have grubby hands touching my hair that I have pedantically spent 45mins straightening. And you know what? It doesn’t bug me as much as what it used to.
So I may not know yet where I fit, but that’s ok.
Because I’m honestly in no rush to find out.