Monday, October 8, 2007

Puzzle pieces

It is always disconcerting to come to the realization that you do not "belong" at all in the place where you have chosen to live. This isn't really shocking, in fact, I've known I don't exactly fit in here for quite some time, and generally speaking I'm okay with that fact. However, this past Saturday I attended something that demonstrated to me that not only do I not fit in here but I never will. I don't find it depressing exactly since I am secretly relieved that I am not the type of person who would enjoy a tractor pull (nor, for that matter, know exactly what took place at one), but it did get me thinking. And what is disconcerting is that I also felt this way in college and to a lesser extent, in high school.
Ordinarily feeling different isn't such a bad thing, provided you can find a few other people who feel the same as you do, or who can at least relate. Fortunately I do have some friends who fit that bill. But spending your life feeling like you don't ever fully belong anywhere is not comforting. If I was radically different, with no common ground to speak of, maybe it would be easier to deal with because then it could just be chalked up to being in the wrong place. Rather like a puzzle piece from one box that had found it's way into another puzzle altogether. You'd know that the correct puzzle existed somewhere. Unfortunately, I am like a puzzle piece that looks like it should fit in a spot and it does, almost. Maybe one of the arms is too thick, or the angle of the spoke isn't steep enough. Minor things. So it gets tried this way and that, and occasionally pounded, in an effort to make it fit. And stubbornly the piece will not go. Thus it is left on the edge of the table while all the other pieces fit together forming their picture. At least I don't have to worry about being knocked off the table and eaten by the dog.


Mockingbird said...

Usually, I would hesitate mightily to tell you that I think you're wrong - especially as it relates to your own life. But - you're wrong.

You most certainly DO fit in here, just not everywhere. For which you should be thankful. No one fits everywhere, except perhaps for con men, but that's only because they're working an angle.

And you tried something new - good! So what if it turned out to not be your cuppa? Makes for a good story, in any event. No one fits in all the time - do you actually think I'm going to "fit in" in Istanbul next week? Heck, I'm going to be screaming "TOURIST!" no matter how hard I try not to.

You're a great puzzle piece. Make the picture fit you, not the other way round, and you'll do quite well.

Stacked Librarian said...

You misunderstand me. I don't expect to fit in all the time. Nor do I expect to fit in everywhere. I fit in with a handful of people, but that's about it. And I'm past the point where I try to force myself to fit the picture, but other people still want to try and make me fit some sort of idea.
But having the song "one of these things is not like the others, one of these things doesn't belong" beat a tattoo in your head (referring to yourself of course) during most (not all, just most) social situations is not good. It makes you feel lonely and occasionally, dysfunctional.

sandman96 said...

Trust me when I say a tractor pull is not a measure for all of us "southern folk". I hate the fair, didn't even go... It's not that I'm anti-social, but I don't fit in most big groups either. The small group you fit in is your "puzzle". You can't fit a puzzle piece that belongs in a 500 piece puzzle, into a puzzle that has 1,000 pieces. (ok so my analogy sucks). I don't think any town as a whole has a "fit". And personally I rather enjoy your company and think you a delightful person, and think you fit in rather nicely with our "Kids JUMBO puzzle". If people make you feel like you should change to fit their "criteria" or whatever... then abandoning all class, and for lack of a better phrase... to hell with them. Be you; because You are a warm, smart, funny, dependable, giving, and beautiful person; and none of that should be compromised.

Stacked Librarian said...

Thank you Sandman! And thank you too Mockingbird. I was sort of in a mood when I wrote this and it is nice to be reminded by your friends that you fit in with them, and really that is all that matters.

amnbdad said...

One of the reasons I love theatre, besides acting of course, is that it's with that crowd that I feel I can be myself. The time I've spent with the theatre group in the past few years has helped me to bring the person I am and the person I present to others a little closer together. I think maybe blogging has helped some too, in that I've found a place in which I can express myself, that I never really had before. Sometimes I don't even fit in with myself, that's the most disturbing part to me. To play into the puzzle analogy I feel like a piece of a puzzle that's gotten damp and the picture is coming loose from the cardboard and your not really sure what the piece is but you don't want to throw it away because some day you just might find out what it is (and hopefully it's not been swallowed by Curious George). I must agree with Sandman and mockingbird your a wonderful individual and my life is richer for having made your acquaintance.