Growing up I yearned to be invited to the gatherings of the “cool crowd.” Sometimes I was, and sometimes I wasn’t, and that made it all the more difficult and sad for me.
Recently I got a last-minute invite to Shabbat lunch from a family whom we’ve been trying to have over for a while. I was so happy they invited us, but also disappointed that we had already made plans. Growing up my biggest fear was being invited to an event by the cool kids when I already had plans with my friends.
I was proud of myself in this scenario because I felt more grounded, stable, and happy when I thought about having our friends over and not going to the other family. G-d willing another week. But for now, I am looking forward to hosting my friends. Sure there is still a tinge of disappointment, of FOMO (fear of missing out), but it’s nothing near the depth that I had when I was in middle school.