Dear Girl Across The Room,
You don’t know me. I don’t even blip on your radar.
It’s obvious by the way you skim right over me like I am of no consequence.
I am 9, and 14, 18, and 25, 32, and today and probably in the next years too and I want you to like me so desperately I can barely stand myself.
I want to fit in. Just as one of the girls. Just once.
In my experience, women are cruel and cold and yet, there is this sisterhood I’ve only glimpsed and it looks alluring. I am fascinated by it.
Maybe this time everything will click.
Standing with my heart and soul all coiled up and tense on the inside while the outside of me shines and says polite things and hopes that only the best side of me shows so you will take the bait and find me worth your time, I am fake and sincere all at once.
Eager and reluctant tied up in carefully selected accessories and red lipstick.
I watch you work the room, ruling as a modern day Queen in the middle of your admirers until, for a moment, you notice me too and suddenly, I feel like Somebody.
But then, you move on to the next girl and never look my way again.
It’s true. I don’t matter to you. Now that you’ve decided I don’t have anything to offer.
I’m not brilliant, beautiful, well-connected, or possessing a skill and ability you wish to gain for yourself, or any of the other attributes glaringly obvious in the girls you have collected around yourself.
Not that you’d know, you don’t know me, not really.
Yet, you put me into a box where, neatly and quickly defined as someone you don’t want to know, I want to rebel against the helpless and grotesque feeling of being dismissed.
Sometimes, rotating in similar circles of life, I overhear you talking about how you feel unimportant and hideous and worthless and I think, maybe, just maybe, we could find a common ground in the richness of God’s unending grace.
Before I can offer you the hope of Divinity in Love I’ve grown to lean on with ferocity born of trust in a faithful Abba, almost before the words have become lost in conversation, you are surrounded by a host of people denying the ugliness in your heart and declaring your value and beauty and worth so loud no other words are ever going to be heard.
Shamed into silence, the words die on my lips, unspoken, unshared.
I am invisible to you until that time you realise you need something from me.
My value, tied intrinsically into what benefits you, gives good reason to cross my path.
For just a moment, maybe even a day or two, I feel there is a hope of friendship with you and, in that moment, I belong.
I taste the sisterhood.
With my sister, Roxi, one of the few times I truly feel the beauty of sisterhood – Sisters, Oregon 2014
Until the currency of our relationship is spent and like yesterdays worn out shoes, I am relegated to the outside. Again.
My tiny offering, no longer valued in your economy, only bought so much time, and resigned to an awkward silence on the other side of the table, the car, and the classroom, I try to find peace in my position.
Pushing through the burden of insecurity, determined that you will not dictate my value, I offer single thought suggestions at the gatherings we share in common.
But your silent veto is far more crushing than you could imagine when the rest of the girls follow your lead.
You know, Girl, I care too much about what you think. I need to get over it, already.
I know. I’m trying. I promise.
Maybe it’s this underlying desperation that you sense which drives you away from me. Maybe… Maybe I look like you feel and the comparison hurts you too.
I could more easily get beyond this but our paths cross too many times in this life we lead near each other and every snub and refused invitation, every bright smile and inside joke with the rest of the girls is a loud and stark contrast to the blank face and mumbled hellos to me, when you do acknowledge me.
I don’t know if you know how you hurt me.
But you do.
Every time, sister.
Those sarcastic little darts, judgmental tiny arrows, and the incredibly precise jabs all seem to find my tenderest places, until you have crushed me underfoot.
It’s all more than I can bear.
So, I’ve decided I’m really letting you go. Really. For reals now.
I’m serious this time.
You are laughing at me, I can hear you because we both know we’ll meet again and I’ll wrestle with all of this ugliness in me again and the shallow ache I have to belong won’t really ever go away when I’m around you.
You are everywhere, Girl. Your sharp wit and emotional baggage combined with the cruelty seemingly inherent to women keeping me at arms length until I’m never quite sure who to trust and who to avoid.
I’m trying to learn to leave you to your own issues since I obviously have so many of my own to deal with but it’s hard. I get to blame you for my weakness.
That’s way easier than looking at myself.
Slowly, painfully, I am trying to not only learn but also believe that acceptance and worth found within the brilliant and beautiful people that God has already surrounded me with to remind me of His goodness isn’t just enough.
It is abundance.
Someday, I will remember right away that we don’t need your approval to matter.
Maybe then the 9, and 14, 18, and 25, 32, and today girl that is me can be free.
Until then, I’m going to hold on to the words of my dear friend, Paul, who wrote my heart a long, long time ago. See, we know Someone who specializes in taking weaknesses and making of them something quite marvelous.
“8 At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, 9 and then he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12: 8-9
That Girl You Despised