Finding the me-sized hole in the puzzle

I have been known to say, usually tongue-in-cheek (or more like biting the inside of my cheek), that it “sucks to be UU.”  Usually this is in response to the requirement to be concerned about all details of all things…are we being completely inclusive?  As if we–or anyone–ever could.But let me tell you about a conversation with my daughter who has now had a full week of being an 8th grade girl. I drove her down to the library and on the way back she said “I think I was meant to be a loner,” but she said it so matter-of-factly, sans drama and melancholy, that there was never a thought in my mind that I should worry about her in the way that parents are told to be concerned about their loner children.  “My friends,” she continued, “are all picking stupid fights with each other and taking sides and I can’t stand it.”  Then she said, “My real friends are the ones from Young Fun and Coming of Age–it’s like when I get around them, they’ve been saving a place for me…like there’s a hole in the puzzle that is just my shape and I just fit.  At school, it feels like…” and she trailed off, struggling to continue the metaphor.

“Feels like the you-sized puzzle piece has bumps on it, but the hole in the puzzle doesn’t have any bump-holes?”

“Yeah,” she sort of giggled a bit and then said “bump-holes.”  (Bump-holes has now become a part of our special shared vocabulary…I like it.)

So, here it is, where it doesn’t suck to be UU, where, in fact, it makes me certain that we as a denomination are doing something right. We are raising kids who can come together either across the midwest or across the country and figure out a way to fit together well.  Not perfectly, but well.  Mostly.

She feels at home in the company of other UU kids (even though she doesn’t get to be around them much), because she can be … well, the kid she’s supposed to be.  Maybe this post is coming out of reading the Mean Girls thread going around , started by Moxie Life (whose moxie I like, by the way). Maybe she’s not finding the mean girls in her UU circles (though I tend to think she might be the mean girl in those places, which is a whole ‘nother post).  Or maybe she’s learning to be confident in her UU circles in ways she just can’t be outside of them.

Just wondering aloud, here.  I think what she has through our UU church community and the extended one she has been introduced to has provided her just another safe place–outside our home–where she can feel … well, free to be.  Isn’t that what most of us are looking for, anyway?  A safe place just to exist, and then maybe come from there with strength and inspiration to create other such places for others?

Definitely does NOT suck to be UU.  At least today.

P.S. I feel called to explain the sporadic posting here, but have none to offer.  Sometimes busy, sometimes out of town, sometimes just not up to sharing my inner goo.  But I still lurk a bit, enjoying the conversations I am not usually a part of.


About TinaLBPorter

I write poetry and blog at And I'm thrilled to be writing with you.
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5 Responses to Finding the me-sized hole in the puzzle

  1. RighteousBiche says:

    Have you read Hold on to Your Kids by Gordon Neufeld? Your post made me think of it.


  2. jacqueline says:

    I love this! I think that finding your place in the puzzle is what life is all about. Forcing your way into puzzles that don’t fit you makes everyone unhappy. Here’s to finding our holes!


  3. Kei Sullivan says:

    I saw a book, Princess Bubble, on The TODAY Show that is about a princess and liking who you are and helping others. I think it is in keeping with the me shaped hole.


  4. mskitty says:

    Boy, is that a nice feeling, to be where the hole has you-shaped edges. I’ve only felt that in a couple of environments in my past too, and the most important one was Unitarian Universalism. Though, LE, just a note—-it changed when I became a minister. Now there’s a smaller hole called “UUMA chapter” where my shape fits. The larger one isn’t quite so comfortable any more and it’s because my shape changed a little bit, from layperson to minister.


  5. Lizard Eater says:

    Okay, your daughter made me tear up.

    “like there’s a hole in the puzzle that is just my shape and I just fit.”

    I feel like that, in my group of UU friends. In a way that I don’t feel anywhere else.

    Well said.


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