I was replying to an email this morning, asking a question concerning perceptions. The writer had made a statement I had heard before, many times in fact. But it was something I rarely questioned out loud.
I grew up pretty much an outsider. The baby brother, teased by my older siblings , not particularly adept at anything. Naturally shy, not athletically inclined, I didn't try to join into much. I pretty much went my own way in the world. As we all do, I suppose. We find a path that suits us, or we make our own.
But a lot of things influence what path we take. Ambition certainly is important. That drive to attain some goal. But also we network, we build relationships with others, we become part of communities, both small and large. The small communities are our circle of friends, and/or (later) business associates/co-workers, the larger communities might be neighborhoods, towns, or cities. They can even be large parts of the population, such as ethnic groups.
I don't want to get too far off my point here and I can't dig as deeply into this subject in the limited scope of a blog so I am going to hope you are grasping the essence of what I am going to say.
I was never really part of any community.
If you look over at my Profile (over there, on the right), you'll see my picture. Under the picture it says "A guy without a real home town." That is a very important part of my nature, of who I have become over the years. We see ourselves as a part of something. We identify as more than just a singular entity, one person. We are a part of a family, a craftsman, a writer, a sportsman, a hunter, a New Englander, a poet, a westerner... well, you get my drift; we are a member of some community.
I'm not. Oh, don't get me wrong. I am a blogger so I am part of this community. And I do have a family that I am part of. And I live in a town, I play golf with a group of men. Within that, I am a member of a regular foursome. I have friends, people I socialize with.
Throughout my life, I have been part of things, groups of friends, school activities, had roles in plays, was a member of the military, a part of a large company, part of an office staff, one of a work crew, a husband, even helped form and, later, run a BBS association.
But there is something else that I can't quite, and never have been able to, define that should be there that doesn't seem to be. It's an intangible. A nagging feeling of being that piece that doesn't seem to fit anywhere in the puzzle.
And it has always set me apart.
A Night Unremembered
7 years ago