I've never felt like I fit in anywhere.
I know I've mentioned this a few times before, but I haven't gone into much detail about the actual feeling. Growing up in a small town, I was seen as strange for loving science fiction. I never knew quite how to interact with the others in my class. I was the kid who always said the wrong thing. I never dressed like the others. And where I come from, once someone decided to pick on you, it seemed you could never shake that reputation. Everyone knew that it wasn't okay to be friends with me. Luckily I found some friends anyway, but it seemed that most people never even took the time to get to know me.
That shaped the way I view the world more than I could ever understand at the time. To be honest, I never even thought about it too much until my senior year in college. My final class for my writing major required a long writing project. Big surprise, huh? The class was about literacy, and we had to write about something in our lives that shaped our literacy. In this sense, literacy means more than just the ability to read text. It meant, in a broader way, how you read and relate to the world. My lifelong challenge, in a way. I learned a lot about myself in those months.
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I couldn't not relate in some way. Even if I didn't know how to relate with the people around me in a way that made them like or understand me, I had to relate to them somehow. In dealing with my classmates, I felt like the lone puzzle piece that just doesn't fit right. My place never seemed to be there. I was different, and I stuck out like a random red blob in a black and white video.
Since I constantly felt like an observer in a world that didn't really want me, I began to feel like the omniscient narrator in a novel. I discussed this in a previous post when I described my love for tall things. There I talked about why I ended up loving my role as narrator, but I think this is how I came to be in that role to begin with.
Granted, though I considered myself as a narrator of sorts, there was plenty I didn't know. I still didn't know just how to change my social standing or what the people I saw everyday were really thinking, but what I didn't know, I made up. I carried a notebook around with me and wrote. In enduring a school where people never accepted me, I watched and tried to figure them out. I attempted to interpret their interactions. This gave me a great deal of practice. I am effectively the narrator of my own life.
To this day, I still don't always feel like I'm an actual part of the world around me. This isn't to say that I can't navigate it like a normal human being, and I certainly care for most of the people around me. When it comes to my personal life, and my family especially, I do fit. I love caring for them. I accept that most people don't understand me, and that's okay. With my narrator's perspective, it doesn't bother me that they don't know what makes me tick. It gives me a sense of power in life I might not otherwise have.
I suppose that narrator's perspective is something I'll have for the rest of my life, and I'm glad. Being a writer, I can use that to my advantage.