I finished up book #22 today. I read Rachel Hollis' book Girl, wash your face." I had seen some of the reviews of the book, and have heard some things about it. So I know that some people don't really think that there's anything profound in it, and that some of the stuff in her book is some of the same stuff you would read in other books. But for me I think that her book was all about being authentic. It was a huge reminder for me, to be myself. Although a lot of it had to do with motherhood, I really appreciated the way she did include single women in what she said as well. It is hard these days to find books that aren't meant for married with children women. So, I take the tiny bits that I can that are including me.
The past few months have brought me to a place of crisis in my identity. I have found myself not really feeling included in the circles that I have been included in for so long. Some of that is because of decisions I have made to step back, and some of that is because of other people's decisions to push me away, or not see my friendship as important as it maybe once was. I am okay with that, because I have realized again and again and to most people I am a seasonal friend. You see I don't fit the mold that I used to, and so that has made me unnecessary to a lot of friends that I had from high school and college. I don't believe in the same things they do anymore, and my life doesn't fit the mold inside the Southern Baptist box that it once did. So, I think that has caused a division. It is sad, but I knew that at some point it would. The thing is I have always been a person that doesn't want to argue or hurt other people's feelings. Here lately I have been standing up for myself, and when someone says something that I don't agree with, I let them know... most of the time anyways.
But strong voices, especially strong voices from women aren't met with cheers and acceptance in the spiritual circles I once called home. Women aren't seen as leaders and any woman who does speak out, is put into this category. I have family members and close friends that I once talked to everyday or at least once a week, that are no longer in my life. I wish that I could say I am sad, but I honestly especially here recently have lost the desire to be sad.
This book and a few others have given me a new drive for going after my hopes and dreams. The past few months have also really allowed me grieve my dream of being a mom, and perhaps even a wife. But it isn't a bad thing. It is just letting go of the expectation that had been driven into me since I was a little toddler and realizing that even though I don't meet that role, I am still a necessary part of this world.
So for today I embrace who I am, knowing that I don't always get it right. I am thankful that I am on this journey of living everyday to the fullest and making the most out of where I am and what I have been given.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes:
"Whatever standard you've set for yourself is where you'll end up... unless you fight through your instinct and change your pattern." -page 15
"I learned to celebrate accomplishments, not with big flashy parties, but with taco nights oor a great bottle of wine." -page 29
"What I want to say is that we all judge each other, but even though we all do it, that's not an excuse. Judging is still one of the most hurtful, spiteful impulses we own, and our judgments keep us from building a stronger tribe... or from having a tribe in the first place. Our judgment prohibits us from beautiful, life-affirming friendships. Our judgement keeps us from connecting in deeper, richer ways because we're too stuck on the surface-level assumptions we've made." - page 37
"I'd challenge you to consider that maybe your people come in a different package than you thought they might." -page 41
As I search for my tribe, it might take me 5 more years before I really find people that I trust and click with, but here's hoping that they are just right around the corner, just maybe not in the package that I once thought they would be!