That’s what the place where all the “cool kids” would hang out was called at my high school. I think it’s funny looking back now, that the cool, popular kids had a name that everyone knew belonged to them. It was their territory. Of course, there were bricks, literal bricks, where they all hung out in the courtyard.
Notice I say, “they, and not “we.” For I was not a part of this exclusive, non-inclusive group. It always kind of bothered me that I was not a part of this group, and I wondered how I could make the cut.
As years have passed, and I think back to those days of being a teenager trying to figure out who she was, I realize that, you know what? I am THANKFUL!
Thankful that I was NOT a part of that group. For these high schoolers were, for the most part, snobs (just being honest!) They didn’t even look the way of those standing outside the circle.
Instead, I found myself with a small group of friends, the ones who needed a friend. Who were real, not fake. Who were unique. Different, in a good way. They were funny. Made me laugh! Some of them were considered “weird” or “outsiders”. This felt like a good place to be. Because I could be me.
And isn’t that one of THE BEST feelings to have…to feel like you belong? Like you can be yourself, your very true self – quirks and all!
To be honest, along the way and even to this day, sometimes I still feel this desire to be a part of a group where deep inside I feel like I don’t belong. The longing to belong doesn’t just go away after high school. Neither does the temptation to get the “name brand” so that maybe you’ll have a better chance. At some point, maybe you’ll get in that group, or “be there” …the place you’ve always wanted to be. In the circle. Standing at “The Bricks”.
But, in that group, are you…You? Can your true colors shine through and you’ll have no fear of being judged, but instead be embraced with love and grace? Are you the person you know you need to be?
Wherever you are in life right now, whatever season of life, age, or location on the map…I encourage you to be YOU. I know it sounds cliche, but it is something that once you have that mindset, to be free to be you, and to LOVE who you are, you will find Freedom!
And then others will follow your lead. They’ll say, “I want that.” She/He is secure in their own skin. And they can’t be bothered with what anyone thinks about them!
I think once you are yourself, you will find your tribe. The ones who will support and encourage you. “Your people.” And sometimes you have to work hard to find your tribe. You can’t just sit there and do nothing and expect the tribe to magically form. It does take work. Time. Effort. But it’s so worth it!
If you find yourself in a tribe already, don’t make it non-inclusive. Let’s not be like the cool kids at “The Bricks”, shunning those who aren’t in it…rolling our eyes at the ones who we feel don’t belong.
I think about Jesus, and where would he have hung out if had gone to my high school. Would he have stood at The Bricks, turning a blind eye to the young, insecure, lost girl or boy just walk past by with their head looking down? Afraid even to make eye contact.
I think we know the answer to that question.
Where am I going to stand? Where are you going to stand? At The Bricks?
Or are we going to go outside the circle and find that lost person, hold their hand, and let them feel and know that they are loved? That they are seen. That they BELONG.