Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Another pity party

I was busy having a pity party on Sunday evening. It probably had more to do with hormones than anything, but I found myself wondering why I am such a misfit. I've often watched other women in a group, chatting, laughing, and having a good time and wondered why it seems to come so naturally to them and seems so foreign to me. That's not to say that I don't sometimes find that blessed state of social comfort, but more often than not it's just wishful thinking. It's like I'm a piece to a different puzzle- you know, when you've gotten a puzzle done and find out someone has accidentally put a piece from another puzzle in this one's box? I think I'm that extra piece.
I started to think that maybe it's because I'm not into the usual "girlie" things- I don't scrapbook, stamp, quilt, love shopping, makeup and clothes, or just about anything else most females enjoy doing and talking about. But then another wave of self-doubt comes over me and I realize that there are many women who don't like all of those things (although none I've found that don't enjoy at least one of them.) So then I start thinking that maybe I should just try harder to like those things. Hmm... I've tried most of them already and never really felt it "click"... and then there's the cost factor. None of the feminine hobbies seems to be very affordable, especially when you've got much different priorities for your money (like savings, retirement, home improvement, paying for gas..)
So now I'm back to square one. What can I do to fit in better??
Part of me wants to say "to heck with fitting in" and be done with it. It's very freeing to not worry about what anyone thinks of you. But sometimes, even if just occasionally, it's nice to feel like you belong, and to feel like you fit in.
Maybe if I could magically create a few more children to tote along to play groups it would help. Have you ever noticed how women with younger children tend to hang out with other women with young children? It's the natural order of things and I'm not begrudging them... but it's another of those areas that I just don't fit into. It would seem weird to join play group and be the only one there with no child (and probably weirder still if I somehow managed to get my teenager to come with me!)
Lest you think I'm still on a complete pity trip (which it definitely sounds like so far!) I also came to realize that although I don't fit in with most of the puzzle I call womanhood, I don't really have anything to be ashamed of. So I'm different. Big whoop. It's not like that's new to me! I like doing jobs that tend to be physical and dirty. I've always preferred horses, cats, and other animals to humans. But the cool thing is that I also have things I can be proud of. Like doing almost all of the installation of my car's rear speakers by myself a couple of weeks ago. Yep... I tore apart the back dash, took out the old and put in the new. I just had to have David drill a couple of holes for me and then I put it back together, and they sound fantastic! Or how about being able to replace a faucet or help with replacing a toilet's wax ring? I can do my own oil change (although admittedly David does still do them most of the time.) I can also change out my own spark plugs, wires, and other basic parts. I don't get squeamish having to put a worm on a hook. And I don't take 2 hours to get ready to go someplace! (This may or may not count as a plus since I also don't look like I take much time to get ready!!)
I probably won't ever really fit in because that's just who I am. (And that's besides the obvious problems with social anxiety.) I've worked hard to develop more of a feminine side in recent years (yeah... I used to be worse than this!) but I'm not sure another 30 years will be long enough for me to fully enjoy the more womanly pursuits in this life. I'll still periodically give them a try. But ultimately, I'm holding out hope that God will want me to be in charge of a horse ranch in the eternities. Not sure how that would fit in with His work, but I figure someone's got to help take care of all His animals, right?


Shayleen Lunt said...

Patty - PLEASE come to playgroup. I wish that women of all ages would come...what fun we could have sitting on a blanket and munching on pretzels and carrot sticks. I've tried personally to recruit people that didn't have "kids to enjoy the playground," but I'm still unsuccessful.
I'm so sorry that you feel this way! The way you write it makes me giggle though (I think you meant it to be that way). I often (several times per week) wish I had the drive to read and learn as much as you do.
And yes, I'm sure He's going to need lots of help with the horses ;)!

Cassie said...

I don't know what to say other than, I feel ya girl.

Louann and Bari said...

Don't change!!!!! You are the BEST just the way you are! and I love
Ice Road Truckers, too.
I do like some girly stuff, but I can handle my own when I get a drill or hammer in my hand. Thank heaven's Heavenly Father needs all of us and made us all VERY different.
Ps- I totally get the puzzle piece analogy. I often feel like I don't really belong- anywhere.

Steve and Jamie said...

I think we all feel like we don't fit sometimes. I sure love you though--and one of the things that I love about you is that you are different. I'm with Shayleen, I would love it if you came to playgroup. I'll even lend you one of my kids! (In fact, I might not ask for her back. . .)

Mama D said...

I'm thinking there needs to be a simple home/car repairs type Enrichment class soon... You could teach us a lot!

I was going to say much what Jamie said - there are times when we ALL feel like that awkward puzzle piece that doesn't fit in right!

What about those of us who aren't the best at either creative or mechanical pursuits?! Or those who don't fit in with the young or old age groups because we are in the middle with young kids and teens?! There are a lot of scenarios where people don't quite "fit in."

Patty, you are amazing just the way you are, and you are loved for being YOU. Life would be boring if we were all the same. :)

Papa D said...

Just because you are a trombone in a room full of flutes and clarinets, don't stop playing. We need the balance.