A place to sit


All my life, I’ve searched for the same thing and received false hopes. Like a castaway stranded at sea, the only hopes spurred on by the illusion of land. I’ve hunted for it and searched like a desert traveler for an oasis. Yet at every turn, I have been met with only more shadows to cast upon my light of hope. Until this year.

I remember coming into high school as a 14-year-old, freshly out of homeschool girl. I had no idea what to expect; my only information or possible prior ideas as to what high school might contain was what I had gathered from my older siblings and teenage movies– so basically nothing. It was definitely a Taylor Swift “Fifteen” type of situation. “Count to ten. Take it in. This is life before you know who you’re gonna be. At fifteen.”  Spitting image, the only difference being the age.

My biggest concern was finding my way around the school. I had a feeling I could make friends quickly simply based on my outgoing personality. And I did. I made friends that have lasted through these past four years; yet, something was missing. That same something I had searched so vehemently for was absent. But I couldn’t figure out what this “something” was.

I had my friends, and they cared about me, so what was it? Was I trying to gain something from them that they could never give? Did the fact that I was homeschooled during such crucial friend-making periods cause this feeling of unsatisfaction simply because of my lack of experience?

I’ve thought this for four years. Don’t get me wrong, I have cherished my friends and have valued every bit of them, but I found something this year in the company of new people– people I never even thought to approach. They’ve given me more than just friendship; they’ve given me a place to belong.

I’ve never before realized how much comfort and warmth something so minute could bring me until the mundane task such as someone simply saving me a seat took place. To know someone was saving me a seat next to them meant everything. To know that I was welcomed and that they wanted my company was like this missing piece of the puzzle that I was searching for.

I found these people by chance. Walking into a class with no prior friends, I was quickly left to figure out who to sit by, the timeless question that never seems to dissipate, no matter how old you are or how long you’ve been playing the game. I sat with three girls who I semi-knew and simply never left. I didn’t know anyone else, so who would I choose instead?

Little did I know that even though I chose where to sit, they chose to accept me… in every way possible.

Even though this was completely by chance, I can’t say it was completely without fate. These girls have given me everything from help and laughter to more important things like discussions of life and a place where I can feel comfortable to express anything I am going through. I am appreciative to everything all my friends have given me, but I cannot express the feeling that is tantamount to belonging.

They have given me land in this ocean and water in this desert. I no longer feel the need to search for anything when I am at that table. They have offered me a chair at the feast of a lifetime, and I took it gratefully.

I no longer find myself having to endure the treacherous task of looking for a place to sit because I know I have found where I belong at their table.