Out of Place Series – Brittany’s Story
I am not the same. I do things differently. I used to look around and try to figure out why. I tried to fit in. I wanted to fit in, but it never worked for me. I was always a little out of place.
I had been brainwashed to believe that I needed a tribe that looked like me, a tribe that acted like me. They told me I needed a niche. For the past 6 years of my life, I searched for this tribe and this niche, and I almost lost myself in the process. I ignored the parts of myself that I felt did not fit what the tribe was looking for, what the niche required.
I wanted to be a hair girl, but I am more than my hair. I wanted to be a mom blogger, but I am not organized enough nor is my house picture perfect enough. I wanted to be a Christian blogger, but God suggested that I talk about Him a little less so that I could reach more of the people He wanted me to reach. He asked me to talk about my hair more, and my children more, and my outfit of the day more.
I did not get it at first. How in the world could I reach people? How could I change the world one person at a time? How could I be of any influence if I could not even find my people? How could I find my happy while simultaneously living a life where I felt utterly out of place?
And then I remembered a conversation with my hairdresser. I recounted the most recent events of my life to her, at work and at school. I told her about my day and about my life, and she smiled and said she was in awe of how well I could do it all. I laughed and informed her that I did not know about doing it all, and I certainly did not know about doing it all well. Her response was, “All I can do is hair.”
Do not get me wrong, my hairdresser is amazing at doing hair. People come from all over the country to have her make magic with their curls. As far as curly girl hair care goes, she is the cream of the crop. Yet, here she was in awe of a girl who could not find her place.
I went home from that conversation and pleaded with God. I asked Him if He could just give me a final word. Could He tell me if I was a hair girl, or a minimalist, or a teacher, or a mom? Could He please tell me where to focus? Then I would have my people.
He responded with five simple words, “Be yourself. Different is good.”
For anyone who feels out of place, who feels like you live in a constant state of different, rest in this:
1. Your purpose is tied to you being yourself.
The people around you need you to be yourself. They do not need you to have every part of you perfectly put together. They need real. They need to look at you and see themselves. They need to rest in the comfort that because you can be yourself, they too can be themselves. Your tribe is not attracted to what makes you just like them. They are attracted to the parts of you that offer them peace, love, and unconditional acceptance.
2. People are drawn to you being different.
Your tribe does not need a copycat version of themselves. They need your type B to tell them to relax. And you need their type A to make sure things get done (or, of course, the reverse). Your people need to know that they do not have to fit into a box. They need to see that your pieces do not match so they can accept the fact that their pieces do not match. Your uniqueness gives them just what they need so that they can be just what you need…and what others need.
3. Everyone else is taken.
I am not just another mom, hair girl, fashion woman, teacher, minimalist, or Christian blogger. And neither are you. Never let comparison convince you that who you are is not enough. You are all the things and none of the things wrapped in one exclusive package. They cannot be you, and you cannot be them.
The world needs both.
Anytime you feel out of place, remember that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are designed specifically and intentionally for the people God needs you to reach. He does not need the same. He already has that. He needs you to be yourself. He needs you to be different.
Have you ever felt like a palm tree in a pine forest? Have you ever been transplanted to foreign soil, unsure if your roots will ever grow deep enough for you to thrive? Have you ever looked around, and felt so different, so other, that you wonder if you’re going to make it?
If so, this series is for you! Every Monday, we’ll hear from someone who has also struggled to belong. Be sure to subscribe below to get The Scoop so you never miss a post! As a thank you, you’ll receive access to belonging-themed scripture cards and adult coloring pages in the free for you library!
Brittany Bonnaffons currently resides in New Orleans, LA. She is a wife to Brett Bonnaffons and has three children – two 8-year old boys and a 6-year old girl. She blogs at https://ordinarilyextraordinarymom.com where she writes about faith, motherhood, and lifestyle. Brittany feels as the though the world judges each other by unrealistic standards. As a result, she has dedicated her platform to challenging standards and challenges people to embrace others for who they are – ordinarily extraordinary.