It's amazing how quickly we can come to feel inadequate. And by what means we come to feel inadequate. I never thought that I'd say these words, but for me it was...the Crockpot Club.
What is the Crockpot Club, you ask? Oh, just a group of people from work who get together every Thursday and rotate who cooks a crockpot meal. However, it's invite-only. Like a "popular kids" group at work. Initially I found it entertaining, and figured that I didn't know people well enough to join. But after some months passed and my friend who sat next to me received an invite and stopped going to lunch with me because of it, I was surprised at how it affected me.
I was jealous. Angry, even.
I thought, "you can have your stupid Crockpot Club! I'm just going to sit over here with my NEW friends and eat my lunchable and fruit-by-the-foot with my Hi-C orange drink. Hmph. Who do they think they are anyways, with their dumb crockpot meals?" What was I, in middle school again? It was like having horrible flashbacks to every moment in childhood where you were rejected or not chosen to be one of "the chosen". Anyone? Anyone? Anyways, as I sat thinking about this, I realized a few things.
One is that there are people who like to take high school behavior with them into adult life. There is no avoiding it, unfortunately. You'll hear (and sadly be sucked in sometimes) to gossip about "did you see what so-and-so is wearing? Gross." or "can you believe that so-and-so did this?" Also, most of the time people just like to be in their cliques, and they like to have control over those cliques and unintentionally (and sometimes intentionally) create exclusivity where they can. Everyone wants to be a part of something, right? And finally I realized that contrary to what I believed throughout my school years growing up, it's ok to not be a part of that...mainly because A.) I don't like cooking on command and am barely even able to cook for myself most days and B.) I am 25, not 14. I have my own contributions and personality and most sane people will not judge me on whether or not I made it in to Crockpot Club. I generally succeed at life without that accolade to decorate my LinkedIn with.
At the end of the day, I'm grateful for things like the Crockpot Club...because it reminds me of how easy it is to make things exclusive, and how important it is to make people feel on the inside when I can. When you get down to it, we're all just trying to live this crazy life the best way we can...so we might as well try and support each other in it instead of alienate.
I was encouraged to write a post about this on here by my close friend Katie (52beautifulthings.com). She has a wonderful, inspiring blog that you should check out. I am truly honored to know her. And I know that she would always include me in her Crockpot Club.
And it is with these thoughts that I send you off to the rest of the week: remember to be open, and not closed. Be open to including and being surprised by people. I promise it will be worth it.
Enjoy your week, friends. :)