Today’s post was inspired by this week’s prompt from Five Minute Friday , which is intended to be a free write. (More specifically, no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.) For five minutes flat.
(DISCLOSURE: Since I’m not so good with rules and worse with typos, this was TOTALLY edited for grammar, spelling and punctuation after that five minutes was up.)
The writing prompt for today is PLACE.
As an awkward teen who generally stood on the fringes of the groups I hung out with – with the exception of a few really close friends – it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I matured into an awkward adult, one who still struggled to find her own place in the world that she graced.
I floundered a bit in the working world, where I was known to be serious and quiet, a role that I was happy to play. When I left that world to stay home with my then newborn, all the insecurities that came with new motherhood overrode the otherness that I felt.
As my children both entered primary school, we found ourselves living in Wales, and it was there that I really found myself in a place that I could call home, a place where I felt most myself. While it was lonely at times, the town that we lived in sort of invited quirky. The surroundings were green, and while not an outdoor person by nature, with a new puppy afoot, together we took to long walks through the pastures or down by the river, and my head could clear. Oddly enough, even the clothes in the shops suited my own personal style, and I began to feel more comfortable in my own skin (in a place where I stood out as soon as I spoke.) For whatever reason, it felt easier to call myself a writer; in a town of creatives, I should have suffered imposter syndrome, but I didn’t.
Moving back to the US and into our old house, I began to struggle with finding my place again. While many of my friends in the UK also worked, I struggled with a sense of identity. Most of my friends had returned to work, some had another baby, and I felt lost.
Then we moved again, and the process of making new friends further displaced my sense of self. Texas felt as foreign as Wales at times, only more isolating, more other.
This past Christmas marked four years here, and I’m uncomfortable to admit that I sometimes feel as lost as I did right after we moved. I’ve struggled to find routine while I seek out purpose and the answer to the question of “what is my place in the world at THIS moment”.
It’s a struggle that I tend to keep to myself because I have two teens in the house, and I see them grapple with similar questions. (While I want them to know that they don’t have to have all the answers right now, I don’t want to freak them out by the fact that some of us – fine, me – have not yet figured anything out.)
I’ll just keep praying for the grace to believe in what I can be and do.
And in the meantime, I’m just happy to remember the place I left my coffee cup, my glasses and my phone.