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Belonging, being myself, and bee people

My song came on the radio yesterday as I was driving my youngest to preschool. You know, MY song, the one that I will always turn to top volume and sing all the words to, the one that even my kids know is “mommy’s song”, the one whose lyrics I have written on my social media profiles because I relate to it so hard. Do you have a song like that? Mine is No Rain by Blind Melon. (All I can say is that my life is pretty plain/I like watching the puddles gather rain.)

This particular tune was released when I was 19, way back in the olden days when videos on MTV were still a thing. I loved the lyrics, and even more, I adored the video. A weird little girl, freckled and chubby, is dressed up in a bee costume, complete with antennae and tutu. She tap-dances on a stage and instead of applause, she is met with laughter. She gets upset and runs off the stage. Sad and dejected, she roams the streets, performing her dance for random strangers, but they mostly just stare at her. They don’t get it. They don’t get her. She dances by herself for a little while, but you can tell her heart isn’t in it. Then, she approaches a gate. As she peers through the gate, her jaw drops open. On the other side is a field of people, all dressed in some variation of bee costume, frolicking and dancing happily. She runs to join them, and they immediately accept her as one of their own.

As I drove along yesterday, listening to the song, it occurred to me how much of my life I spent as that awkward girl, looking for my field of bee people. I felt like nobody “got” me, and I desperately wanted to belong. In my 20’s, I found belonging in my religious community and in groups for new moms. But when my beliefs shifted, and I was no longer a “new” mom, I didn’t belong anymore. In my early 30’s, it was my theater group and my workout buddies. But then I got pregnant with my daughter and had to put those things on hold, and those people slowly drifted away. Later, it was school, but then I graduated and everyone went their separate ways. Each time, I finally felt as though I had found my bee people, and each time my life took a different turn, I realized that I didn’t belong after all. It was always a lonely, broken feeling, even if the circumstances around it were positive.

I realized yesterday that now, at 45, I no longer look for the field of bee people. Part of this is circumstantial — who has time to look for bee people when you’re a busy mom of three, who also writes and podcasts and does advocacy work? But more than that, I finally feel like I’m okay with just being that awkward little bee girl, dancing for myself, and I don’t care anymore if nobody gets me. I don’t need a field of bee people to find happiness. I’m content with who I am.

All I can say is that my life is pretty plain. I like watching the puddles gather rain.

2 thoughts on “Belonging, being myself, and bee people”

  1. 1- THAT SONG… While it has never been MY SONG, per say, it is one of those few songs that- no matter how many times I’ve heard it in a short span of time- I crank it up and belt it out… YESSSSS…

    and that video…
    2- this post really made me think of Troop Zero. Maybe because I just (finally) watched it yesterday… But also, because these words, those feelings and that movie ALL come from that same spot.

    Like

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