“I used to wear 3 bras in middle school.
I was a late bloomer. So as everyone else was… blooming… I shrugged on 3 bras each morning—padding myself so no one would know I was different.
In elementary school, I pinky swore I loved puppies more than I loved kittens, just to get into an I Love Puppies Club on the playground. Really, it just meant entry into having someone to talk to on the swing set. But I abandoned my kitten favoring heart and snagged my sister’s Lisa Frank puppy folder as extra ‘evidence’ to prove my belonging.
In high school, I went on a trip to Disney. Not wanting to come across as childish back in school, I coated my arms with makeup and glimmering lotion, trying to make it look like I had a sun-kissed glow. I rolled up my sleeves; hoping someone would notice I wasn’t a Disney loving child, but indeed a sun-kissed grown woman.
A couple years ago, I watched the season finale of a show I’d never seen before. Everyone in the office I worked at watched it. I endured the gruesome 2 hours of it. It was terrible. But I was so desperate to fit in—even just for one conversation by the coffee maker.
I look back on these things and cringe. Then I laugh. Then I desperately want to go to each of those Kelsey’s and hug her as hard as I can. Then promptly stop her. It’s crazy the ways we look for ‘acceptance.’
The things we do.
The ways we overthink what happens in these little virtual squares.
The conversations we don’t have.
The quirks we hide.
When we’re on our deathbed, we won’t wish we had hid ourselves away more. Hushed our voices more. No. But we will wonder what friend we could’ve met if we admitted we liked kittens more than puppies. How much more comfortable we would’ve been without 2 extra bras. What false friendships we would’ve dodged. What dreams we could’ve reached.
When it’s all over, how amazing is it to look back and know you lived your life exactly as God made you: fully known, fully loved. No denying or hiding. Completely at home—completely belonging.”
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