My little brother was on a school trip recently. You know…the type of school trips where you stay in dormatories for three days, away from home, and do outdoorsy activities like kayaking and mountain climbing. Things that you’ll never do again unless you hit a mid-life crisis or decide that high cholesterol isn’t for you and you need to do something about it. Either way.
Anyway, my little brother was doing his mountain climbing activity and, as he was talking about it when he returned home, he said that he ‘walked in the gap.’ We didn’t know what he meant so we asked him to elaborate:
“I walked in the gap. There was a group of friends behind me and everyone else was up front. I didn’t want to slow down to let them catch up and I just thought ‘Well, every man for himself!’ and walked the gap in between them both.”
Well, well. From the mouth of babes, eh?
It got me thinking about my brother’s courage to just stand in the middle, even though he was on his own. When I was a kid, there was no way I’d do that! I couldn’t do anything on my own without some reassurance so I would’ve probably slowed down to let everyone else catch up, or rushed on ahead. My brother, though? Screw that. He held his own pace and took pride in it. What an absolute legend.
How many times in life do we forfeit our space to try and fit in with everyone else? Instead of having pride about where we are, we tend to slow down or rush ahead to try and get on everyone else’s level.
Maybe we feel lonely because everyone else seems to be in a couple, so we settle for someone who isn’t as well matched for us…
Maybe we compromise our personal ethics in order to get ahead in our career and fit in with manager’s ideals instead of our own, just to feel a sense of belonging and purpose…
Maybe we associate with a group of people, and change ourselves to fit in, because we are too afraid to be ourselves…
Maybe we pretend to dislike certain things, or we don’t accept certain opportunities, because we fear what others around us will think…
Sometimes, we fail to take pride in who we are, or where we are, because we feel like the only one’s in our position. We feel like the only one’s who are single, or we feel like we’re the only ones not progressing in our careers, or we’re afraid to align ourselves with our true nature because it means we may be rejected by those we have surrounded ourselves with, or we believe people will think us odd and not want to associate with us.
It can be difficult at times but – please – have faith that your tribe will come to you. They will find you. But, my sweet, they can’t find you if you’re too busy trying to keep up or slow down to be with everyone else!
Walk in the gap.
Hold your space.
Hold your space wide open for your people to find you.
When they do find you, you will slip into a pace that suits you both because you’re kindred spirits.
Take pride in being alone because, regardless of what others say or what you may think, being alone does not equate to loneliness.
As Rebecca Campbell says…embrace your weirdness because “the longer you stay in a situation that doesn’t fit, the harder it is to take a leap towards your highest calling.”
Walk in the gap, darlings, and others will be grateful for the space you held open for them because holding your own against a world that is constantly pushing you to fit into another mould is a revolutionary act.