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I never fitted into cliques well - every girl who was forced by some more thoughtful parent to "befriend" me soon abandoned her polite facade when it became apparent that I wasn't going to conform to whatever commonality her particular circle was bound by. Unhurt, I would find the outcasts who were forced to accept each other as they were. That's something I've always loved about knitters - the only thing a group of people can have in common is knitting (a range of ages, occupations, genders, cultures, religions, politics, and personal lifestyle preferences can be represented) and yet they still manage to have an enjoyable time together.
But somewhere along this journey, I've woken to find myself in a dark wood. It seems that despite every convention I've staunchly bucked - home educated, opting out of college, wholly uninterested in men (until I met the one who became my husband...), an oddly unconventional choice of occupation, taking myself on adventures that frightened and concerned people who weren't even related to me and hadn't known me for long, a persistent faithfulness to doing things the right way when I know what the right way is (that one mostly applies to grammar and the English language in general), and an equal bent toward doing things the best way even if it's not considered "right" (but only once I have a good grasp on the subject) - something has finally arisen that has wrenched me into an unnatural shape: motherhood.
Frankly, I've been horrified by the amount of judgement and downright hatefulness that exists among women who should be on the same side. Instead, lines have been drawn and hills have been chosen upon which to die - ridiculous ones like cloth-or-disposable, breast-or-formula, organic-or-processed... the lists go on. Somewhere along the line we've gotten the silly idea into our heads that in order to validate our own position we have to tear someone else's down and we're so shattered from repeated blows (intentional or perceived) that we lash out defensively the instant we sense a variance of opinion.
Admittedly inexperienced, I fell silent. I turned off my music that no one liked and ceased the almost constant stream of out-loud commentary on life that I had kept up 'til then, put away my books and any crafts that weren't obviously domestic, and slowly began to become someone else. But I was made to be someone, and I can't fulfill whatever purpose I have as anyone other than that person - and if we would only admit it to ourselves, we all start out at the same experience level. From that point, we learn and pursue things that interest us, but no matter what we know, there was time when we didn't know it.
It's a horrible feeling to be lost - but having realized that I am, I'm working my way back to the path that I'm meant to be on. Looking at the books on my shelf and the design sketches in my notebooks, trying to recapture the person whose most-repeated phrase was where's your sense of adventure? and beginning by asking myself that very question and determining to ignore the will-o-the-wisps of social pressure that try to lure me into a forest of conformity.
So, what ghost-lights have tempted you to stray from the person and purpose God designed you as and for?