Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"Sometimes I feel a bit different than some of my friends"

I have early and intense memories of thinking very differently than those around me, often even in opposition to what adults told me. I now recognize these instances as the early formation of what I would now call morals. Some of these, I think would be understood by almost everyone. For instance, when I was staying with my great-grandma and went across the street to play in the schoolyard with children in her neighborhood, and returned to her waiting on the porch with a pink basin of water and a bar of Ivory soap, I KNEW that there was something very very wrong with her insistence that I wash up before coming in the house after playing with "those colored children".

Some of these instances may be less universal. I remember learning where meat comes from and instantly knowing I would never eat meat again. For several months, I spent evening after evening sitting at the dinner table for hours, not being allowed to get up until I cleaned my plate. I would cry myself to sleep at the table many times before my parents let me be a vegetarian.

In grade school, I had a couple close friends but I never fit in. Very early in high school, I got "saved" and became a Bible-carrying Jesus freak. By the time I graduated I had rejected that religion, but instead of going to college, I got married and became a young mother- a young mother who used cloth diapers, and didn't do Santa Claus, and modeled for figure drawing classes for extra cash.

Basically, I'm trying to paint a picture of how I have never fit in. I manage to be an outsider in almost every group to which I belong. Maybe "outsider" is too strong of a word. I'd rather say I'm a bit different. Even now, in my little conservative community, I'm different for being an atheist. I notice that among atheists, I'm different for embracing a religion.

There is one place where I never feel like an outsider, and that is church. It is my place where I can come as I am, believe what I want, speak my heart and mind, even disagree with people, and I know I will be welcomed. I love this song, "Quiet" from Matilda. The beginning takes me back to my childhood, being so different, and adults shouting, and the TV blaring, and my head spinning. I think It took me a long time to find my "quiet", but now I have. My church is my "quiet".


  1. Thanks for sharing -- I often (usually)feel on the outside of just about any group I'm in.

    I just clicked over to your blog from Cara's and am loving it (recognize you from angryfeet aw well).

    take care.

  2. Almost two months later, I saw your comment. Thank you. I just went and looked you up to find out who you are on angryfeet! Hey, I know you,