I was going to post that I had nothing to post and then I remembered that WordPress has Daily Prompts, so I will write about that. Today’s is: Land of Confusion: Tell us about a time when you felt out of place.
I’ll tell you: College.
I grew up in Philadelphia, a mile from the University of Pennsylvania. My parents both went there and they had friends who studied or taught there or both and I was friends with their kids. You would expect that having been steeped in the culture of Penn, I would fit right in.
You would be wrong.
I made friends there but I always felt like I was on the fringe. Maybe I am always on the fringe or maybe I always feel that way but it was not a comfortable time for me and it took me a while to get adjusted. Actually, it took finding the smaller subset of people that I could relate to in the mass of humanity that is Penn’s student population.
Just today I was driving behind a car with a Swarthmore College sticker. Swarthmore was where I really wanted to go but I didn’t get in. I did get into Brandeis, near Boston, which I think is more like Swarthmore than it is like Penn. I sometimes wonder how my life would be different if I had gone to Brandeis instead. We’ll never know now, will we?
I’m just going to tack this on the end for my friends and family who go/work/loved it/currently love it there. I don’t want to take away your experience. You love Penn, that’s great. I didn’t love it there, that’s all. Those of you I met there: I wouldn’t want to give you up! I hope that clears up any confusion.
I empathize. I’ve never felt like I’ve completely fit in, either. I always thought it was because I prefer a solitary pastime like writing that I felt so much on the outskirts of everything and everyone, but it’s more likely a personality thing.
I know we haven’t connected in a long time, but I’ve always felt – and still do – that I could talk to you about anything. And, that you’d listen. That kind of connection is rare, at least in my experience. Whether you feel the same about me is debatable, but I think we come into our own circles and our own spaces, mentally and emotionally, at our own pace. From your posts and updates, it sounds like you’ve found a wonderful group of like minds and hearts where you are now. That’s what matters.
I’m glad you still feel that way! I do still feel that way about you. I regret not seeing you more often when we visit back east. Maybe we can make that happen next summer?
I actually feel like I have found two different wonderful communities here: parents and knitters. Both have stepped up to help out when I’ve needed it and often without me asking. I definitely fit in out here.