I wrote this post during the summer, to process my feelings, never really thinking I would publish it. I got thinking about it again, and decided to go ahead, since it is part of my story.
When I was young, my grandma did some of my clothing shopping. My grandma was, you could say, into the classic way of dressing little girls. In junior high, I ran into a girl who was in my first grade class. I’ll never forget her saying, “I remember you! You’re the one who’d wear the knee high socks when they were so out of style!”
Uh, yes, that’s me.
Growing up, I longed for a best friend, but was mostly always just friends with someone else’s best friend.
I wasn’t the kind of kid that easily fit in. Bringing your embroidery supplies to recess at grade school wasn’t hip in the 80’s. 🙂
In many ways, I am still that girl. I loved to create then, and love to create now. I was a stubborn child, and I’ve become a determined woman, who won’t be deterred from pursuing what seems best for my family.
This summer, I spent more time than normal feeling like the girl in the knee high socks- I got to attend girls camp with some of the young women from church. I know these wonderful young ladies a bit from when I worked with them when they were younger, but it’s been a few years. The girls gravitated toward the other leader who is funny, and kind, and who they know better. It’s amazing how I spend time around teenagers, and I am the girl in the knee high socks again. I felt shy and unsure, wishing that I had funny things to say.
Another time, as I looked at facebook, and a close friend posted pictures with their “favorite people” playing at a lake, I was the girl in the knee high socks again. I wanted to be someone’s “favorite people”
The girl in the knee high socks peeked out in jealousy, when someone who’d ignored her attempt at being friendly had a Coach purse and a huge camera. The Coach purse girl must have sensed that the Knee High Sock girl only shops at thrift stores. When Coach purse girl was friendly recently, it was so much easier to be happy for her that she could afford a HUGE camera and a coach purse (in Knee High SockGirl‘s favorite color, no less)
The girl in knee high socks has surfaced so often the past few weeks, and
today, I woke up tired, like someone who has been doing REALLY hard things for a long time. I don’t always feel insecure and unsure, and question my worth as a friend but I have lately.
But somewhere along the way, I developed a yearning to fit in. I spent so much of my teens and 20’s just wanting to not stick-out from the crowd. It’s ironic, that I’ve spent much of the past decade learning to be okay with the ways my children to not “fit in”. It’s been painful work, at times, especially during the long, dark days when Hannah was 3 and couldn’t go on any public outing without screaming meltdowns. The withering looks from other adults told me that we absolutely were not socially acceptable.
In some ways, I feel as awkward and unsure on the inside, as I strive to be resolute, and composed on the exterior. I see, in hindsight, how my years of being the girl in the knee high socks is the driving reason why I believe, to my core, in being kind. For that, I am thankful.