I am an outsider in most social settings.
I am not a part of the cool kid group.
I don’t do cool. It doesn’t appeal or occur to me.
And being a grownup for quite some time, I thought it was something we outgrew.
Turns out I wasn’t paying attention.
Turns out humans at 6, 16, or 60 have the same ability to exclude.
Most of the time I pay it no mind. But for some reason, this time I noticed and in that noticing I realized it hurt. Ignoring the hurt was my next strategy coupled with acting like I don’t care. But that process costs energy I don’t want to waste.
I’ll let it go, but for now it’s something I’ve decided to notice and feel in a productive way.
To put the personal hurt and loneliness it produces to use, I’m thinking of the young people in my life, with much less experience and confidence, who face this trouble every day.
I make a mental list of the kiddos in my class. There are reasons kids position themselves at the cool kid table and push others to the outside. And my heart aches for them all.
Today, I sat next to one in writer’s workshop. She had turned away from her writing partner. Hadn’t written a word. There was no eye contact, but she started to share her story. It made we wonder out loud and she elaborated on and on. After our conversation, there was a few minutes left in workshop. She wrote one sentence and assured me that this was the story she was going to write tomorrow. I smiled saying, it’s gonna be a great one.
This is one of the many reasons to write and to have our kiddos write. To make meaning of our lives. To sort out the messiness and meanness. And, to share it with others. Writing confronts ideas and troubles in ways that can help. Like writing this helped me.