The Boys Club
I was (am) a Tomboy. I’m athletic. I love football (LOVE) and cars. I tell it like it is, sometimes a little to bluntly. In High School and college I had a lot of guy friends. I hung out with the players on the sidelines and could easily be considered one of the guys.
My mentality when I was younger was anything they can do I can do better. I was super competitive. Whether in the classroom or on the field I always felt the need to prove myself. I would try anything! I am sure on more than one occasion I was embarrassing myself greatly but that never got through my thick and determined skull.
I was one of the guys and I was going to prove it.
It’s kind of funny how similar the playground is to the sidelines of the football field. Do you know the jargon? AP? BLW? Ferber? Waldorf? Can you walk the walk and talk the talk.
I could always blend and mold myself to fit whichever club happened to be there. I am just crunchy enough while keeping my other foot firmly planted in the modern. I could keep up (compete) with the best of them. I did it all. School! Moms Club! Playgroups! Storytime! Always keeping up the appearance of “that” mom. Whichever “that” mom needed to be.
My motto became whatever works. Allowing me to fit in without offending or isolating myself from any one group.
I hung out on the front steps of the school in my athletic clothes waiting for the kids and other coaches to come outside. As we walked to the field it was clear I was the only mom that was coaching. Me and three dads (two who are military).
I hung back at the end of the line to rally the stragglers to keep up by nipping their heels with my stroller allowing the reality to sink in.
As practice was winding down an hour later I looked around and thought...
...here I am on a field again and I don’t feel the need to “belong” to either club.
Not to the dads (boys) club on the field or the moms club on the sidelines.
I realized that this last year’s journey to focus on the positive and live intentionally has really changed who I am. Through the friendships that have been made I have truly come into my own skin.
I don’t need to fit in with the boys.
I don’t need to fit in with the moms.
I can just be me.
Sometimes that’s a soccer mom.
Sometimes that a little bit crunchy.
Sometimes it’s a little (okay a lot) messy.
Mostly, it’s just me.
I have found that this skin of mine seems to be fitting better and better the more I except it’s limitations and cherish it’s accomplishments and the only person I need to be better than is the me of yesterday. That is a moment I want to remember, cherish, and hopefully teach to my children.
Simply accepting me, that’s my Simple Moment, Bigger Picture this week. What’s yours?
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You're awesome. That is all.
Love this as it has been on my mind. I desperately want my kids to learn this lesson early in life. I want to facilitate if for them (not push, not lead) just encourage. 4 kids with different gifts, strenghts, challenges, someone is always standing out or not fitting it. Best to you and thanks for sharing.
why can't we learn all of this at a younger age...wouldn't the younger years be so much easier? Maturing and growing through the years sure has its benefits. :)
Well, darn; Dwija stole my comment ;)
But you *are*, and that realization of not trying to fit in with anyone but just be yourself? I' still working toward it, striving to be all that He created me to be. You are such an inspiration to me, Melissa!
being yourself is the best you can be, who needs to fit in with the other moms. Lord knows I don't!
I love you. Because you are *you*. That is all. :)
With preschool & kindergarten underway, I know this feeling all too well.
You rock, Mel. Keep rockin it.
Beautiful post - very true & honest. I am certainly relate. As a mom, I think I've tried to fit in one too many times when really, I am who I am.
sorry, that last post didn't let me leave my link ;)
I can't tell you how happy it makes me to read this! I LOVE when people discover comfort in their own skin, and learn to grow into it, discovering the shape and pull and shine of their own authenticity. Those are beautiful moments. It's lovely to witness yours, even if it's only via a blog. :)
Oh, that mom club is such a pain. I may not be coaching material, but I love me some football! (This also sounds like a great post for the Just Be Enough site/linky!!)
Good for you who knowing who you are- and owning it! xoxo
I think everyone struggles with this same thing over and over again. Now that Lily is in first grade, I sometimes see her struggling to discover what "club" she belongs to. Ack...being the mother of two girls is going to be hard!
Being true to you benefits not only yourself, but everyone else around you. Fake people annoy me and if you are always changing yourself to fit in no one can really connect with you and vice versa. So ROCK your awesome self and love it.
Brilliantly put! I love how you nailed it all: "I have found that this skin of mine seems to be fitting better and better the more I except it’s limitations and cherish it’s accomplishments..." Thank you for the inspiration :)
It is always so wonderful to connect with people... especially as easily as you did, but to suddenly not be able to and have to reassess your worth is tough. So happy to see you have been able to embrace you -Laverne
I have found, that as long as I have at least two friends in my life at any one point in time, I can accept myself more easily.
trying to fit in is what happens to me when I have no one.
Friends make all the difference in the world.
I have always been one of the boys as well - but never really "fit" in with them. I think we put too much emphasis on trying to fit in...but you've figured it out. Just be yourself and that is the best things you can do for yourself! Start your own club!
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