We all know the lyrics but how many of us can also relate to them?
All of the other reindeer
used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Rudolph
join in any reindeer games.
For me, this strikes home. I was the little shy girl who never knew how to make friends. I came from a home that had hidden problems going on (we’ll go more into that on a later day) I was the youngest of 3 girls (but I’d become a middle child later with the birth of my younger half-sister) and frankly, I was not the prettiest out of us girls.
I was afraid of the monkey bars, afraid of heights, and my jump roping skills lacked… but my imagination worked in over drive! I could dream up stories like no one else and found myself staying safe with my imaginary friends. My made up friends had the courage of Laura Ingalls (my favorite childhood hero!) and the same kind of heart too.
Soon, this gangly little girl grew into a teen and not much changed. My parents divorced and I moved around a lot. This only made making friends more difficult. It is so hard to fit in with crowds who have been friends since elementary school. But I managed to find a few outcasts like me, and we were a band of merry misfits. In fact they were my teenage ‘family”. But time marches on and soon I was a young woman in my twenties and those friends moved on to college or relationships. Alone again…
I guess my twenties were not too bad, I was married at 22 to my soul mate and together we started our life and family and the lack of friends drifted to the back of my mind. A husband and three beautiful children filled my life but at the age of 30 I was longing for friends, or someone to connect with. Who knew it would be my sweet lavender that grew outside my front door that would bring me that one special friend! She was my soul sister, my bff and soon we were making up our own reindeer games! I had my best friend in my life for two wonderful years and then it was time for her to move on from this earthly place. She passed away at the tender age of 32 and my search for friends and fitting in ended.
I withdrew into my own little made-up world one more time. I filled my days with my kids, writing, anything I could. But sadly, I ran from my own needs. I ignored the need to connect with other women and this continued in my life for 5 years before I longed once more for a friend. So I decided to go out into the world and make friends, what I didn’t know was that this search would still continue today.
Why is it that I stay in the shadows? Is it the memories of childhood playground taunts and giggles, teenage outcast, a mother who gave all to her young family, or the death of the one friend that changes your heart that keeps me on the sideline of life? I know that just like Rudolph what makes me special is the one thing I should embrace and it could be the one thing to bring sweet friendship into my life. So here I am starting this journey facing the fear of making friends and having those blissful relationships with other women to encourage and support one another.
I wasn’t sure where to start this journey and now as I am sitting here tapping away on my keyboard I guess this was meant to be my first step. Such a silly fear at 40 years old or maybe it is the recent move to a new state, a new home and the lack of what is familiar that has brought this fear forth in my life again. I find comfort in sharing this and maybe that’s what this journey will bring friends, sisters who long to grow, laugh, cry and dance around life’s fire with each other.
It does not surprise me that a few of my favorite movies are Fried Green Tomatoes, Beaches, and Practical Magic they all show a sisterhood, the need to connect with other women, one day I will have that again…For now I am content being a wife and a mom, I know that change can only happen when we face those things we fear…
Until next time,