I have a friend who has found it difficult to fit in within her community.
True, she comes from a “tougher” background than I myself have known. And yes, she swears a bit too much. But she wears her heart on her sleeve, easily hurt by offhand remarks. Her tough exterior is merely that. She likes to have fun, and to make people laugh. She works hard.
She is also very “real.” She says what she thinks and calls a situation as she sees it. Perhaps people react negatively to her because she says what other people only allow themselves to think. Recently, she told me that she thinks of me as a mentor. Mentor? Really? I hadn’t seen that one coming! But she is my friend. Sometimes she draws me out of myself when few others can.
Anyway, her recent struggles have caused me to look at my own life. I’ve been very blessed. Certainly, losing my dad when I was a teen was very hard. And yes, there were issues resulting from that I had to work through. And, of course, there were jobs I didn’t love. Somehow, I guess I have always kept what was good, and let go of the rest. I am fortunate that there was a lot of good going around when I was young! It pulled me through some more difficult times later on. There were special people along the way who made such an impression upon me that I, in essence, brought them with me. At one point, I also challenged myself to begin making choices because I realized that I had, until then, been doing what others expected of me. I learned who I was, decided that I kind of liked that person, and moved forward in life becoming that person.
My friend likes who she is. She is in the process of defining herself, I think. It is indeed a process. It doesn’t happen all at once. When you figure out who you are, what and who you respect, and what your purpose is in this world, happiness and satisfaction come a great deal more easily. Being able to look at “the bigger picture” helps to put our own small part of it into perspective.
How have life circumstances affected you, and where do you fit, in the grand scheme of life?