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This is Where You're Meant to Be

I was sitting on the couch the other day, listening to the Disney Kids Pandora station with Miss J, who will be 3 in January. Miss J, who is my nanny baby, but not my actual baby, loves to listen to music and dance with me. Her latest fascination has been picking the Pandora station on my iPad. We sang through “Under the Sea,” “I’ve Got a Dream,” and “Let it Go,” when “I Can Go the Distance” from Hercules came on. As it started, I got tears in my eyes.

“I have often dreamed of a far off place, where a great warm welcome will be waiting for me. And the crowds will cheer as they see my face, and a voice keeps saying this is where I’m meant to be.”

Literally, tears running down my face, goosebumps all over my arms. I realized it had been a while since I really listened to the words of this song. As we danced around the living room, avoiding stepping on the two little babies and her big brother, I realized that I hope that for all of them. I hope that for everyone. I hope that for you.

Especially as the holidays approach, I hope you have a place where a great warm welcome is waiting for you. Everyone deserves a place where people cheer when they see your face. I hope that voice in your head keeps saying, “This is where you’re meant to be.”

But sometimes it’s not that way. Families are estranged. New cities mean few friends. Maybe it’s just you and your cat. Or no cat at all. This is part of the reason I love the next part of the song:

“I will find my way. I can go the distance. I'll be there someday if I can be strong. I know every mile will be worth my while. I would go most anywhere to feel like I belong.”

Sometimes, we have to fight to find our tribe. I think most of us would go anywhere to find a place where we belong. Bravery is required to find a place where you belong. Seeking out people who are like you can be tough: especially if you are introverted or quiet. It gets even tougher if you are anxious or depressed.

I’m here to tell you this: there is a place for you to belong. I want to encourage you to be strong and seek out a place. Facebook is a wonderful place for finding people, local to you, or just friends on the internet. As I’ve become a mom, graduated college, wrestled with my anxiety, moved states, and started a full-time job, having a tribe of women to surround me has been so important.

I’m a part of lots of babywearing groups, mommy meet-up groups, and product chat groups. If you’re struggling, if you’re lonely, if you need some like-minded people, the internet is a great place to start. I’ve celebrated the birth of new babies, mental health victories, and the milestones of our little ones with women I’ve never met in person, but who I love as dearly as old friends. This is part of my “Where I’m Meant to Be.”

Internet community is wonderful, but it’s also not for everyone. If you are struggling to find a place in the community near you, please let me know! The “Seven Degrees of Separation” rule means that there are less than seven people between you and anybody. This also means that I will do my level best to help you find people. There are 15 writers for Youer than You, all over the country. We know people. WE can be your people. If you need somewhere to be this Christmas, I want to help you find it.

If you are quiet or lonely, or anxious or depressed, please reach out to someone. You don’t have to be alone, not for any reason. You deserve a place to belong.

You can beat the odds. You can go the distance. Somehow you’ll be strong. My lovely one, every mile will be worth your while. You’ll find your hero’s welcome right where you belong.

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