My new offering to the serious blogging world is capital letters. That, and I am going to try to post more often than I do. It's good for me.
I feel better already.
Tonight, I'd like to speak to you about my life in terms of a Venn diagram.
Throughout my life, I've had the privilege of building relationships with a great variety of people. This was almost entirely due to my constantly changing educational environment: Christian, secular, private, public, boarding, tiny, big, at home, and abroad are all words that describe my education at one time or another. I don't regret this. If you ever see my mother, tell her that I said this. I think she is afraid that I hold some grudge about having been to 8 different schools before high school. I don't. It was, for the most part, fun. If being the new kid is an art, then in my prime, I was Botticelli. Except, without the naked women. That would have been inappropriate. I became pretty good at reading people, discerning what they wanted, what they valued, interpreting reactions, etc. (These skills would later serve me well in customer service-type jobs.)
What does all of this have to do with a Venn diagram? Well, because I learned how to make the outsider-insider transition at an early age, and with all sorts of circles, I have always found myself drawn to different groups at once, able to see the merit of multiple social codes/sets of values. And right along with these many people have come ideas and interests, as varied and conflicting as the people by whom they are presented. Be it over tequila shots or a Thomas Merton piece, I have found stimulation and growth in expected and unexpected places. For the most part, this is great. I find myself with many friends and even more acquaintances.
And now you're asking yourself "Well then, what's the problem?" Of course there's a problem, or I wouldn't be writing about this. And, further more, I have yet to explain the Venn diagram connection, even though I began this last paragraph in a way that would lead one to believe that an explanation was coming. (In my defense, I thought it was.)
Here it is: I feel like the section in the middle - the oddly-shaped piece that is shared by both circles. This piece represents the common ground. That's all well and good, but what identity does that piece have beyond the fact that it holds the common elements? It has nothing of it's own, and it doesn't really belong wholly to either circle. If it went to a party in one circle, it would belong, sure, but would always stick out at least a little bit.
Like Popeye said, I am who I yam, and I don't want to change it. But, those little pieces of me that don't fit, wherever I am, the ones that always want to be somewhere else, the ones that can make dating and building strong friendships hard, the ones that I'm certain other people always notice, they sometimes make me melancholy.