Breaking and entering: fitting and belonging

Have you ever felt like Goldilocks? I am just sitting here, thinking, staring at the screen, pondering what to write about, in my best friend Marie’s HUGE desk chair, looking at her monitor- which is bigger than my TV at home, yet typing on the SMALLEST keyboard over; I feel really tiny. I think I know what Goldilocks is about now. Or I at least get the thing about the chairs. I am not a large person by far, but I’m not petite either; there’s weight to me, a solidness. I’m also short- 5’2.” So sitting here in this over-sized world, in a chair that’s way too big and not adjusted for me, I realize that Goldilocks is about fitting and belonging. Goldilocks didn’t fit in the Three Bears house; I don’t fit in Marie’s office. She was uncomfortable; I’m uncomfortable. And no matter how close I move the huge monitor (the letters are very very small for some reason), raise the chair, or tell my writer’s fingers to pay better attention, it’s just not the same. Plus she has a Mac and I’m a PC kinda girl…it’s an entirely different world here in this office. Just like Goldilocks didn’t really belong in the Three Bears house, I don’t belong in this office. I’m not breaking in as she did (and what’s up with that for a kid’s story?), but the idea is the same- almost an intrusion into Marie’s work space and computer. Thankfully, I fit into Marie’s house, her family, and even her bed.

I came yesterday because Marie put out a call for help and I’m glad I did. It made me realize how far she’s come in the last year and how her life, like what Goldilocks and are I searching for, has a sense of fitting and belonging now. Last year Marie was uncomfortable about Walter’s presence in the house; the constant reminders of him were like markers of a failed marriage and broken family. But this year is about hope and rebuilding. I was worried because she told me she was frustrated and I thought that it was for some deep rooted personal reason. Boy did I underestimate my best friend. She was frustrated about her kitchen remodeling, her dad being in town (he fits with us all too though), and the holidays in general- PHEW, way less work for me. But she needed me. It’s really that simple and makes me feel totally awesome, which it should. She needed my extraordinary remodeling skills to help speed up the transformation of her kitchen; she needed someone to ground her and basically fall back on. Marie is fine. She fits in her current life, she belongs, and she’s excited about the changes she’s making. But what I didn’t realize is how much coming out here was what I really needed- to the extent that I think she knew and tricked into coming out here by asking for help.

Like Goldilocks, I am looking to see what fits and where I belong. I’m in a transition of my life and it’s a bit apprehensive. Sure, I’ve accomplished a ton in the last 3 years with the degree and the new house, but I’m about to start my new job in a couple of weeks, and I’m doing that whole self improvement thing too. I still need to feel comfortable and connected though in general. Being here at Marie’s (with her boys, her dad, and the dog) makes me realize that while we have places where we fit and belong, if we never venture past those places and explore new ones, we may miss out on other opportunities. So Goldilocks (even though she was breaking and entering) had the right idea in trying out new things in her search for things to fit and a place she belongs. In a sense, Goldilocks should be my role model. So I will continue to try out new chairs and offices, looking for a comfortable fit. And along the way, I’m sure I will find some that are horribly uncomfortable, but it’s possible that I will find the best chair ever that leads to the kind of fitting and belonging that we all desire. One can only hope…

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