“Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best” (Henry Van Dyke).
When I was twelve, my family moved to Bryn Athyn. I was excited to move to a congregation with other church people my age who cared about the things I loved so much. I was disappointed. I found few kindred spirits, but at the time I mostly felt mocked for my strong convictions. In the spring of that year, we had dance classes. With 27 girls and far fewer boys, it did not bode well. The rule was that once the first batch of girls were asked, it was assumed the boys would ask the “leftover” girls for the next dance. Then once all the girls had been chosen, they could re-ask the other more popular girls.
One day when I was standing in the reject corner (like I did every week), all the other “second class” girls were picked before me. I watched as one boy took one look at me, chose to ignore the rule, and went back to the popular corner. I wanted to cry. Instead, I just walked over to join the other girls who were not dancing. It left me wondering what I had done wrong to deserve such treatment. Was I not good enough? I repeated this question to myself over and over, feeling like I was inferior to everyone else.
Looking back, I can clearly see that I was not the problem in that equation. Perhaps the boy who snubbed me was just thoughtless. Perhaps he was dealing with his own inadequacies. Either way, I did not need to take it personally, but I did of course. I was an insecure girl and it hurt. Continue reading Leaving Inadequacy Behind