Second String* was practically my theme song for many of my younger years. I felt exactly that the second place person.
On the fringe of social groups
The person people called when they had nothing better to do
The one tolerated but never fully accepted.
The crazy thing about this is if I had truly looked around I would have realized so many people felt that way. I was alone and I didn't have to be.
Being alone even in a crowd is the loneliest thing I can think of. Countless times I find myself wall flowering it at parties and church events because of fear.
I grew up with a sense of my awkward out "placeness" firmly entrenched in my head and my heart. Really it is true. And when those crazy mixer questions like what animal would you be came up, I always said duck-billed platypus.^ Yep that crazy animal who isn't certain if he is a bird or a mammal. That was me. That was how I identified myself as the person not quite fitting anywhere.
These are not struggles one shrugs off in a moment, but I am rejecting them as truth.
I found authentic community where brokenness is not hidden behind shutters, where breaking down in tears is acceptable. Where reality is met with open arms and together we move forward.
So here's the truth and I hope you are still reading.
If the people around you are not treasuring your quirks, loving your unique qualities, and also helping you grow into the person you can become fully realizing your awesomeness in the arms of God, it is NOT your fault.
God created us in his image. As his beloved my worth is more than all the flowers of the field and the fish in the stream. You too are worth more than all the precious jewels in the world. You are not alone in your fears.
If you asked me today, I'd say Sea Otter, They are playful, resourceful, and they sleep holding onto each other so they don't float apart.
*If you want to give the song a listen there's a link, but I gotta give you a head up it comes with cheesy and mostly unrelated graphics in the YouTube video I found
^The Duck billed platypus is actually a pretty cool animal. They walk on their knuckles and the males have venom.