Thursday, May 13, 2010

Life on the Fringes

No, not THAT kind of fringe..


The edges. The margins. The spaces in~between. The gray areas.

According to my preschool teachers {or according to what they told my mom}, I preferred to play alongside the other children as a three and four year~old. I wasn’t the bossy ringleader, or part of her inner circle. However, neither was I the backward child who preferred to be completely alone and isolated, the one rejected by her peers. I was somewhere in between…included, even sought out at times; but I preferred to do my own thing just enough that I wasn’t part of the inner circle. And yet, I wasn’t that child “over there”…far away from everyone else.

This continued later in my life. I’m not that girl in the center of the dance floor, basking in the attention of others and in the shine of the strobe lights. Yet, I’m not that girl alone at home wishing she had been invited to the party. Not the life of the party, yet not somewhere across town on a Friday night working on my homework for Monday morning.

This may be why I’ve come to reject categorization so strongly. As soon as I hear someone say to me, “Oh, so you’re a—"

“NOO!! I’M NOT!”

Labels are limiting.

I have yet to find a label that fully encompasses the ToTaLiTy of ME.

There are challenges to being on the fringes. Sometimes there’s a sense of being a chronic outsider because I’m not distinctly categorized. One foot in, one foot out.

For example, I’ve been told that I’m “the perfect combination of religious and chill people.” This has given me the ability to relate to and connect with a vast array of different people; however, I’m also met with criticism from those who fit squarely within categories because I’m not completely “one of them.”

This has also been my experience in the blogosphere. While I’ve only been writing on my blog for a few months, I can already tell that the blogosphere functions very much like the real world. There are distinct blogger groups, and I don’t really fit into any of them.

First, there’s the group of bloggers who are young to mid teens. From what I've seen, they're typically homeschooled. I wasn’t homeschooled. While I have a special place in my heart for young teens, I can’t really relate to them anymore, but I try to be of support and encouragement.

Then, there are those who seem to be about my age but are actually a bit older and in a different stage of life than me. Their lives tend to revolve around being wives to their new husbands and life at home. While I’m not ruling out being married someday or having children {because kids are my WORLD}, I’m not the “hearth and home” kind of gal. And it's a shame that I'm missing out on knowing people for the simple fact that I'm not wearing a wedding dress in my profile picture.

Then there’s the group of homeschooling moms who are older {and when I say older, I mean 30’s or approaching 30 :-)}. I love reading about their families, but I can’t chime in with stories of my own children who don’t yet exist! Additionally, while I have immense respect for these ladies, I don’t see myself being a homeschooling mom when I reach that season of life.

Then there’s the theological and political bloggers. Sometimes I write about similar topics to these bloggers, but yet I also want to share stories about my preschool students. Probably not something they’re interested in reading...

So, where do I fit in? Do I fall somewhere in the margins again? Who wants to read what I have to write? Maybe no one, if people only want to read thoughts written by clones of themselves.

But while I ponder that, I'll be right the gray.

One foot inside the group, one foot poking outward to connect with someone else.

Somewhere in the in~between....


  1. ...or you could go crazy and have ten different blogs for each subject. :D

    I know what you mean though...I remember a blogger "circle" that I've felt like I'm on the outside looking in because I don't have children; I'm often too liberal for conservative and too conservative for liberals...

    Hugs! Just make this you...its your online home. Just like your real home contains all the unique facets that comprise you, so can this. There aren't any rules to blogging.

  2. I can definitely identify. I can't say how many times I've mused: "Am I a thinking blogger? A mommy blogger wanna-be? A bookie blogger?" It can be difficult to find yourself somewhere in the in-between. At the same time, I think it's a blessing that we have this opportunity to live in the "in-between" world when our lives are not so consumed by one role or one passion.

    And, just for the record, I enjoy reading what you write--even if you're not a clone of myself!

  3. I KNEW that if this post garnered any input, it'd be from you two ladies. Honestly, I was writing this and thought, "Several people may read my post, but I'll bet Hillary and Bekah will have something encouraging to say."

    Thank you. It's been a blessing to connect with you two via blogging! :-)


Thank you for taking the time to muse aloud with me,
to share your heart
& allow your thoughts to become words.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Leah