To the Person Sitting Alone at the Lunch Table

To the person sitting alone at the lunch table,

Life has a habit of pushing and pulling people into our lives without any notice. But now it seems as though you’re stuck on your own without anyone to call your own. You sit there, watching others laugh and smile and eat with no cares in the world. They don’t see you, wishing you could be a part of them and join in. You’re another faceless body wandering mindlessly trying to find a place to be alone and not feel the sorrow you know will rush in if you look for too long at the groups. Every day you sit and pray that someone will come over and ask you to join in. But no one ever does. If fills you with a deep ache to belong, to be with people who accept you for who you are regardless of your quirks, habits and opinions.

Maybe you like to pretend that you prefer to be alone, that there’s less of a chance of getting hurt when you’re alone. You tell yourself it’s only temporary and eventually someone will welcome you with open arms, but who are you kidding? There’s a blank void in your chest from the emptiness you feel that seems to expand and grow like a black hole. You try to reach out, try to socialize, but everyone already has enough friends. They don’t need a stray dog wandering around waiting for someone to throw a bone. Why should they take you in?

I say all of this because, despite our belief, not fitting in doesn’t end after high school. We’d like to think that the cliquing and blending in ends with college. Sadly though, humans are prone to seek out others who are exactly like them in views, lifestyles and other aspects of life. And no matter how hard you try, you don’t fit into one set category they lay down. This leaves you on your own to drift from person to person, but never sticking to one set group. I know because I’ve been there. I’ve sat off to the side, wondering why I wasn’t worthy to laugh and kick back with people who loved me regardless of anything. I used to ask what I did wrong to deserve not having my people. But I realized I didn’t do anything ‘wrong’. I just hadn’t met the people I belonged with. Throughout all of my life I had always been the odd one out no matter where I went or what I did. It took me a long time to realize who my real friends were. But now I do, and I appreciate them every single day because of how long I lingered in the shadows.

Your time is coming. It seems impossible, but you’ll find your way. It is a matter of time. And it won’t happen overnight. You have to be patient. When the time comes, though, you’ll find it worth the wait. And you’ll look back fondly on those times when you sat alone at the lunch table.