Have you ever felt you don't belong? That you just don't know how to fit in? Or, felt left out by the ‘cool gang’. I have, and I am sure I am not alone.
I am learning that I can choose to take action. I am responsible for my own experience of life. I don't have to wait to be picked (argh! who remembers the ordeal of waiting to be chosen for teams at school?), or for the knight in shining armour to come to the rescue.
Years of socialisation have taught me to be 'good'; to not make a show of myself; to not be too clever; not to show off; not to be bossy; to wait my turn; to ask permission; and to defer to men - yes, really!
These messages are deep.
On the surface, I know they are not true, but underneath it’s like they run through the blood in my veins. They are ‘the truth’.
It feels embarrassing to even to admit it to myself. I didn't recognise the extent to which this was happening deep in my subconscious until very recently. Like the layers of an onion being unpeeled, I discover more about myself and the world every day.
I am being reminded, through taking part in online Akimbo workshops, that I can choose to ‘go first’, to create what it is that I want see. Very much along the lines of my favourite quote often paraphrased to 'Be the change you want to see in the world':-
“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. ... We need not wait to see what others do.” Mahatma Gandhi
To dare to do it without seeking permission or approval - to take action.
I love the work I do with people, giving them time and attention, and filming the process, it reminds me that every single one of us has something unique to contribute to the world. I want people to know that they are significant, to be able to see themselves, and be seen.
"There I am. I have a place in this world. I matter."
I am excited about the possibilities of people watching films that I share to help them find connection with what it is to be human.
I am daring to show up and offer this experience to people. To say, here I am, this is what I do. And it is taking courage to do so.
In my experience, it just takes one meaningful connection to make the difference between feeling like an outsider and feeling like I belong. This matters to me.