May 20, 2024

On the outside looking in …

I’ve always felt a little bit like I’m on the outside looking in. I can’t explain it really other than just that. As an only child I always felt that I didn’t understand the rough and tumble of life that other people with siblings just seemed to ‘get’. I didn’t get it, in fact it seemed that the more I tried to understand, the less I ‘got’. Why is that ?

I moved home when I was seven. I didn’t want to go. My mum told me I would soon make friends and she was right. I did. I made an effort. I tried damn hard to get along with people. I made friends. I joined clubs. I was careful to wear the right thing, talk the right way and even write the right way (you wouldn’t think that being able to do ‘real’ handwriting before your peers would single you out as being different would you ? ) I did all the ‘right things’ to fit in. I just didn’t ‘belong’ though. I was always the new girl.

Even when I started at comprehensive school with the rest of my year, I thought it would change. This was my chance to get rid of the new girl label. I made new friends. I had best friend after best friend. But I still felt like I didn’t belong. Yes I was part of things, but only just, not far enough at the outside to be a loner, but not close enough on the inside to feel truly connected. I was for all intents and purposes ‘looking in’ and wondering how on earth and where I would ever feel at home….


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