I went out with some friends last night to celebrate the matriarch of our group's birthday. I felt like a the fifth wheel. It was the original four plus one newer addition. We have all known each other for over 20 years but the group is fragmented now and our get togethers are few and far between.
When we met we were brought together by hardship and loss and in the program we became a family. Since that time we have all had different spiritual crisis that we had to face on our own. It was particularly hard because the crisis were happening simultaneously,
We have paired off in different ways and found other people outside the original group to get through it. We are still friends but not the family we use to be and it is hard to see it as clearly as I did last night. Our get togethers seem more forced than genuine.
I have spent my adult years really trying to fit in somewhere this group was really the closest I have ever gotten to feeling loved and included. I am still welcome but it isn't the same I am not the same and my need to fall in line and play my role in the group just doesn't exist inside me anymore. It is a door I closed it with my own behavior. I went away and came back a different person.
I am an outsider but it is OK this time. I have grown stronger and my lack of neediness and not wanting approval has made me less appealing to those who get there worth from taking care of people. It is understandable having a string of people that need you does fill every minute or your life so you don't have to acknowledge the emptiness that is just below the surface.
I was that person for a long time. I was running from what really scared me the thought that without the action in my life I would be nothing. If there were no one or thing to fix, including me, I would be floating in the abyss alone and I would go mad. Something happened to me that made me want to find out if this idea was true if the falling away of everything would drop me into a hole that I could never return from.
I did return. I am better for it even if I am not sure exactly where or if I will every fit in anywhere again. The question is do I really need to fit in anymore? Fitting in makes us do things we don't want to do for a long time even when it isn't spiritually good for us anymore. It makes us play parts that limit our creative spirit and provides us with a false sense of security. This is my experience.
I am not trying to depress anyone out there. I am just saying that there is a price for belonging just as there is a price for not belonging. Last night it felt awkward I ate too much in a loud restaurant where we were shouting. I was the fifth wheel last night at a gathering of my past and it was painful.
I feel my life is preparing me for a big change. The new person I have become is looking to move on and sever these ties that bind. It is a scary feeling sometimes. What if I am wrong about this what if I should be trying harder to mend these relationships. This though makes me feel like I did when I was trying to revive a marriage I knew was dead.
I love these people and we will always share the bond of survival and I am sure we will share another meal in the future but now it is time I accepted that it is time to move on to the next chapter. I have been in limbo a long time and now I am ready to take the next step whatever that is.
Everybody else has moved on long ago and here I am holding on by my fingernails to the remotely familiar. Nothing stays the same so why do I try so to imagine that they are the same? Why do I want them to be the same where is the fun in that? I guess this is another exercise in letting go.