It’s weird, but I feel a little bit nervous writing this message to you, however as a person who is committed to listening more deeply to her own intuitive hits, this is something that I had to write. I expect this to trigger as it’s certainly not the flow of the tide, where the #girlgangs hang out with their tribes, but maybe that’s the point.
This is for anyone who’s not in the gang or perhaps has unwittingly formed one in response to not wanting to be standing over there anyway. Let me explain. When I was a kid, particularly in secondary school, teenage girls went around in groups of three, specifically so that two could gang up on one, leaving someone out in the cold every other week, just because….
I didn’t really have a gang. I was what some may call a drifter.
I wasn’t pretty enough to hang out with ‘The Plastics’ all the time, not nerdy or intelligent enough to hang with the bright kids, not naughty enough….You get the picture. I was kind of average at most things and slightly better than average at dance, drama, English, sports and shoplifting. This meant that depending on what was going on at the time, I would be ‘good enough’ for a period to be wanted on one team or another. And this suited me. I had a couple of good friends in each of the groups and was able to drift from friendship posse to posse. School was a very, very happy time.
When I left school, I met new friends including lots of boys that I’m proud to say I still get to hang out with from time to time today. I suppose for a short time I did have a gang, I belonged. I was able to be myself and it felt good. And then I left. I went to live abroad for four years and once again I found myself not particularly in with any crowd in a serious way and not out either. It was during this time away that I probably found this sense of not belonging the hardest. Trying to ‘find myself’ as I grieved for the loss of my foster mother, it’s not surprising that I wanted to feel like I had a tribe. But, often, it felt like it was too much of an effort, and I was far too self-aware to even want to be ‘the try hard one’.
Fast forward 15 years and I find myself again not really in the crowd when it comes to The Plastics in the birth world or nerdy enough for the Birth Junkies. And in the business world, the tide is transient. VERY transient. While I have my biz sisters, who I can call upon right now in a crisis, when I look at my Facebook Timehop and see the pics of who I was hanging out with a year ago in the business world, it’s interesting to me that many of those people have moved onto to different groups, businesses or lives.
At the moment, when we don’t feel like we have a gang we’re told to create our own. But you know, what I notice as someone who has pretty much always been the observer to a certain extent, is no matter how inclusive you think you’re being, there’s always someone on the outside looking in: feeling inadequate; not good enough; not pretty enough; simply not enough in some way. And I see the pain it causes.
And while part of me says, ‘shit happens that’s life, they need to just get over it and move on’, there’s another part of me who feels that pain too, which wonders and thinks,
‘what would it feel like to be truly part of their gang?’
And then I remember, from the outside, looking in is a great place to be. Why? Because it means I can do whatever the fuck I want. And so far, that’s working out just fine.
It means that while you may observe me floating from group to group, looking comfortable and smiling widely, know that while I give myself permission to drift, float and enjoy myself, I will always believe that being on the outside, looking in is a really great place to be, because it means I can do whatever the fuck I want.
It also means I don’t ever want you to look at me and think there’s some kind of upgrade to my inner circle, or I’m sticking up for a person because they’re in my gang, because I genuinely don’t have one. Know that if you’re reading this, or you’ve bought one of my programmes, are in one of my groups, then yes, I have your back. I will always do whatever I can for you, BUT you’ll never be in my #girlgang because I don’t have one.
For the misfits, the loners and the rockstars, I fucking love you.