What kind of bug are you?

When I was in elementary school, I spent every waking hour of my summer at the swimming pool in my hometown.

I had enough swim training by the time I was in fifth grade to be a lifeguard, though the rules prohibited the employment of such a young rescuer.

Little did they know, I was on my own mission of salvation, that of beetles.

Sounds strange doesn’t it? But, yes, I was a rescuer of beetles.

At least once a day, I would see a drowning ladybug floating in the white side gutters of the pool. Soon, I would find myself scooping up the tiny creature and setting it on the wet cement outside the pool.

Often, the ladybug would fly away. Sometimes, it was too late.

One day at the pool with my parents, they saw me scoop up another bug and try to save it’s life.

“What are you doing?” asked my mom.

“I’m saving the bug. It’s going to drown,” I replied.

“Honey, that’s a waterbug. They live in water. If you take it out, it will die.”

Hmmm. Some bugs belong in water, now I know.

Now more than a decade later, I’ve come to a new connection about these bugs that belong in water

I’ve begun pondering the idea of belonging.

What is it, I wonder, that makes something belong where it is? What makes people belong where they are, doing what they’re doing? What is it that makes a ladybug belong to the land and a waterbug belong to the water?

They’re suited to fit.

Simply speaking, ladybugs are made for land and waterbugs are made for water.

Humans, I believe, must be made in the same manner, yet belonging isn’t as simple as being land creatures.

What makes George belong to the Methodist Church and Molly belong to the Catholic Church? Why is Amy a bank teller and Pat a salesman and Christy a gymnast? How can Jennie run a mile in six minutes when it takes me nearly half an hour to travel that far?

Somehow, we’re suited for it. We belong to the things we are and the things that we do.

Yet, often we try to do the things we’re not suited for, wishing that we were.

Or sometimes, we just don’t realize we don’t fit, like a ladybug who crawls unknowingly into the swimming pool.

I suppose I haven’t really figured out exactly where I fit just yet. I suppose the idea of belonging is itself a fluid concept. I don’t know if anyone ever truly knows everything about themselves and where they are best suited in this world.

I suppose there are many who have found their exact situations and people to belong to.

We’re searching, because life leaves us with a lot of things to figure out.

Seems like in school and with friends, I often got asked strange questions: If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be? If you were to be transformed into any animal, which would you choose? I suppose now I understand those questions a little better. I think they’re trying to ask me just where I think I belong.

Well, I’m not exactly sure yet, but I’ve got another question to add to the list: What kind of bug are you?