Take Your Seat
Updated: May 5, 2020
One of my favorite movies is Mean Girls. It was released in 2004, and the screenplay was written by Tina Fey. This film has so many comedic moments, but yet at the same time it has underlying themes of popularity, acceptance, and fitting in.
One particular part in the movie that stands out to me is the scene where Lindsay Lohan’s character, Cady Herron, was given a map of where each social group sat throughout the cafeteria during lunch.
You had the band lovers at one table, the nerds at another table, the jocks , and of course the plastics, who were also known as the most popular girls in school. It was up to Cady to decide where she would ultimately sit.
Have you noticed how we are constantly trying to figure out where we should sit? Not just physically, but metaphorically.
Because where you sit correlates with where you think you belong.
Choosing our seats all boils down to one thing:
At the end of the day, we all want to be accepted and to feel as if we belong.
Last year, I attended a young adult’s event called , “The Belonging.” For as long as I could remember, I have always craved a sense of belonging , so I figured this event would be perfect for me!
As soon as I arrived at the location, I was nervous.
Upon entering the room, I instantly felt out of place.
I said to myself, “ In a room full of people, I still feel alone.”
Once the event concluded, I left immediately and walked quickly to my car.
I sat there behind the wheel and just cried.
I internalize just about everything and try my best to conceal my emotions, so when I cry,
All I could think about was how from elementary school, to high school, to college, to even that moment, I had never felt like I belonged anywhere.
As a society, we equate belonging to proximity to others, fitting in, being liked, and being known or seen by those who we feel encompass the standard of who we think we should be.
When you simplify belonging to fitting in and being liked, you end up putting on a facade, or you totally conceal the most important parts of your identity.
The problem with trying to fit in is that the quest to find your fit never ends. With ever changing trends and groups of power, it is impossible to keep up.
Belonging has to have a greater meaning than what we believe it to be.
About a year ago, a friend of mine, Chloe, suggested that I read a book by Brené Brown titled, Braving the Wilderness. For those of you who do not know, Brené Brown is a social scientist, a researcher, the author of five #1 New York Times best sellers, and most importantly, a story teller.
In her book, Brené talks about her quest to belong and how true belonging is showing up as yourself. She tells us that belonging does not require us to change who we are, it requires us to be who we are.
There are not too many spaces where I have shown up as myself.
I never pretended to be anyone else, but I had always given a muted, condensed version to those around me.
I must admit, it is incredibly stifling.
Until reading Brené's book, I had never realized the connection between belonging, authenticity, and purpose.
My purpose can only be activated if I enter every space in the fullness of who I was made to be.
Purpose is too specific to live through an abbreviated version of who you are.
It needs all of you.
Not only do I owe it to myself to show up in every space as me, but I also owe it to the people around me.
This world is bound together by the ideas and knowledge of courageous individuals who continuously choose to show up as themselves every single day.
At the end of the day, it's not about finding your seat;
It's about taking it.
Take your seat.