Feeling like a part of something…
A part of a family.
A part of a relationship.
A part of a frienship.
A part of a team.
A part of a social group.
A part of a community.
It seems to be the human condition that we all just want to feel like a part of something. What that “something” is, is dependent upon the person seeking the feeling.
For me, the something I want to feel a part of is complex.
I want to feel like a part of one of those tight knit extended families that vacation together and support one another in their daily lives. You know the ones, they all go to the same beach house rental every year and all the kids/cousins/grandchildren run around like crazy people while the adults reconnect and share their lives with one another. There is always a matriarch/patriarch couple (or two) that basks in the knowledge that THIS is their legacy.
As a child, that’s not quite what I was dealt. Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents, but they are difficult to say the least. They have had a symbiotic relationship all throughout their marriage – truly one cannot survive without the other, and not in a good way. My only sister and I speak about once or twice a year – if that sometimes. Forget about ‘extended’ family…that was never truly developed in any way. Not to mention that I am now east coast, and my parents and sister are centrally located.
I am determined to make this a reality for myself and the kids once they are all grown and have families of their own. I want to be that matriarch that basks in the legacy of my children and their families…I can still tell stories when we set out for our yearly vacation together.
I wanted to feel like a part of a relationship. I wanted to have a love of the ages. I wanted to grow old with a partner and reminisce about all the memories we shared raising our children together and all the adventures along the way. I wanted to tell stories to our grandchildren together. I always get emotional at movies or news articles about couples who have been married ‘since’ [the war, high school, 60 years, etc] and are still hopelessly in love and are determined to take care of one another…and truly wouldn’t have it any other way.
Obviously that wasn’t in the cards for me…
I can say that I have been a part of some amazing friendships. In all the places I have lived, I have been blessed enough to have made at least one strong bond while I was there and felt that the feelings were reciprocated.
I want to be a part of a team of professionals in my field that all share ideas and collaborate with the same enthusiasm as when we first graduated with stars in our eyes for being the most gifted teachers we could imagine.
I have only been back in my field for three years. I have worked with a few dynamic people, but have mostly found my building/department lacking in enthusiasm for the craft. I have yet to make a connection that I feel I would move to any building just to make sure I could continue teaching with that person.
I want to be a part of a social group that gets together on a regular basis to share stories and time together. Where our children are like cousins and they are the “chosen” family that you always would have picked if you were given the choice. You have BBQs in the summer and holiday parties where you dress up for Halloween and exchange gag gifts for Christmas. You celebrate each other’s birthdays and children’s achievements. You support each other through trials and tribulations and are the first people who come by to drop off dinner when they hear you’re sick.
I had that. Once. For a very short time.
Then we moved.
It’s hard to feel a “part” of a community that you have lived in for less than 5 years, not to mention it’s the third community in a little over 5 years time.
So I guess you can say I’m feeling a bit disconnected.
It’s a very unsettling feeling for me. For one who desires these types of connections and not being able to find a place where I fit in.
Not being able to provide that extended family for my children.
Not being able to help their social connections through my own personal relationships with other families…partly because we have no history here…partly because I have the “divorce” thing keeping me from entering many social circles that require a “partner”…at least in theory. Maybe it would be different if we had lived here prior to the divorce. Maybe I would have been accepted more now, had we made our introduction as a couple to begin with.
But regardless of all the what ifs…
the disconnection is a heavy weight on my heart that threatens to cloud all my interactions.
But I’m pretty good at faking it…usually.