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Fitting in no longer.

This past Saturday I went to the wedding of my best friend from college. It was a lovely affair, and served almost as old-home week as I saw college friends not seen in years.

In fact, I hadn't seen any of them in years. This was the first time I was meeting the bride.

For most of the wedding, while I enjoyed myself (and how could I not with kathryntact as my date), I couldn't shake a strange feeling for most of the evening.

I don't belong here anymore.

It's been 10 years since me and the gang left our alma mater. 10 years of life and living and stuff and everything else. And in those 10 years, my friends and I have walked quite the different paths.

All of my college friends are now homeowners in suburban areas such as New Jersey and upstate New York.

I am still a renter, with a studio with one window facing a brick wall, but I'm in Manhattan which was a large goal of mine.

With this wedding, everyone I lived with my senior year are now married. One has a kid already, and one has one on the way.

While I actually envisioned myself married by this point, I am nowhere near it. I have wonderful relationships, and I am happy.

My friends are all far along on their career paths.

I guess I am too, but I am experiencing a strong sense of doubt and wonder if I'm doing what I actually want to be doing (the answer in my head is always no, with no solution in sight.)

My friends are all dripping vanilla, and live a life where sports, going to the bar on Saturday night or sitting at home with a few cases of beer is what life is made for.

I am so far removed from that lifestyle, that I am stuck without the words.

So, we obviously live different lives. And of course I know it is OK to be living different lives. But I'm still caught up with twinges of sadness over the whole thing.

I realized at the wedding that I am no longer a part of the group. There were 4 of us who were very solid with one another. 2 of the 3 basically gave me cold shoulders all night, and the 3rd was kind of busy with his wedding and all.

I realized that if I had made more of an effort to stay in touch, I would have been a part of the wedding party. Instead, I was seated with the random assortment of college people they had to invite, but perhaps would not have if given their own choice.

They all had life successes to talk about. I could hardly relate to any of them.

My friends walked another path, and left me behind. And I can't decide which I am sadder over more... the fact that my memories of tight friendship are now nothing more than that - memories. Or that I am measuring myself to their yardsticks, and finding myself failing.

I hate thoughts that have no answers.


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 27th, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC)
I grok that feeling. I love the expression "dripping vanilla" and I'm going to scalp it. :-P

The silver lining is that if you HAD stayed close to them, maybe you wouldn't have discovered as much about yourself....maybe your path would have turned out differently.....

Speaking from my own spiritual viewpoint, I think things go just about how they are meant to. Knowing you not at all, I still sense in your posts and the comments of your loved ones that you are a richly blessed man with lots of possibilities to explore.

The bars on Sunday night? The case of beer on the couch? The vanilla dripping onto the carpet? Those will be there when you want to visit that slice of life.
Oct. 27th, 2008 03:36 pm (UTC)
Or have you walked your own path and left them behind?

That's the interesting thing about paths in the woods (apologies to Frost)-- once they diverge, they don't reference the other. And that's ok. We remake our lives daily. And sometimes things cross back around, sometimes not. (like running into Lolita this weekend at a party.. OMG wierd!) But if you either had fun, or learned something, then it was worth doing... even if you are still not doing it.

Oct. 27th, 2008 03:46 pm (UTC)
I feel like this around vanilla people too
Love to you
Wish you two had been elsewhere
Charlotte perhaps
with me
but I understand
Oct. 27th, 2008 03:49 pm (UTC)
This was a wedding I had to attend. Had I canceled, I would have felt even guiltier than I already do for my lack of attention towards this group of people.
Oct. 27th, 2008 04:11 pm (UTC)
I know you had to go, luv
Oct. 27th, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC)
I don't know so much as they left you behind, but that you chose a different path that will have different milestones. I am sure that they can no more relate to your life than you theirs. Do you really want a life where a 6-pack is the highlight of your evening?

Oct. 27th, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC)
No, I don't.

The more I think about it, I think my feelings have a lot to do with my sense of belonging, or the lack of it. It's a big thing for me to feel like I have a belonging to a group of people.

I always felt that in my group of 4 in college. And surrounding that, I felt a huge lack of it as all 3 of them were members of a fraternity that had rejected me. And I was awash with that feeling all over again.

Argh. Emotional dumping. Move along.
Oct. 27th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)
I remember that night
you were told
re rejecting frat
Oct. 27th, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
I got you a place to fit in.
Oct. 27th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)
Oy, that doesn't sound like what I meant to say. Imagine my inflection, okay? You know what I mean.
Oct. 27th, 2008 04:30 pm (UTC)
I do. And thank you. I know I have my place alongside you.
Oct. 27th, 2008 06:48 pm (UTC)
Yea - my first thought on reading this was

You TOTALLY belong to a group of people who love you
Oct. 27th, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC)
Yes, I know that. This post was about this particular group of friends.
Oct. 27th, 2008 04:01 pm (UTC)
Not only that...but you're judging their lives based on what they want you to see - the outside. You may not be seeing internal chaos, boredom, a sense of frustration and loss of opportunities, a closeted life...while you *know* who you are, what drives you, and what your real values are. That's something that, I would strongly suspect, some of them have no clue about.
Oct. 27th, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC)
You know I never fit in. Not in school, not afterwards. Not really in any group. Even when I was known in one community, I never fit in. I'm just odd. Maybe it's our genetics.

Eventually you just sort of ignore it and accept that you'll always be an outsider to most of the world and cherish the few that accept you. If you're lucky.
Oct. 27th, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC)
Do you feel like you no longer have a tight-knit group that you used to have? Is that what you are sad about? I typically think of you as having a tight-knit group but maybe it's not as tight or as group-ish as the one you had in college?

It's funny but I always feel like other peoples' yardsticks, (or rather, my perception of their yardsticks) are more valid than my own. Now I am curious what sort of things you would put on your own yardstick of success. Or what sort of thing I would put on my yardstick of success.
Oct. 27th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)
I can relate to this feeling...'cept I don't miss my old friends. I barely had anything in common with them back then.

I think Don Draper said it best,
"My life goes in one direction: forward."

Oct. 27th, 2008 04:39 pm (UTC)
They didn't leave you behind. They went in a different direction, and you went in yours.

And you may not fit in with them now, and that's something worth thinking about, and mourning. But you DO have a place you fit in, a community where you belong and are welcomed as the wonderful person you are - the person you have become in these past 10 years.

I think that the urge to belong is such a primal, instinctive feeling. And it's awful to feel outside the circle. I hope that the feeling has passed, and that you're able to look beyond the wedding now and see the other circles - yes, I'm actually picturing a field with lots of drawn circles on it for some reason right now :) - and find the ones that open up easily to let you in.
Oct. 27th, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC)
Sweetie, please keep in mind....life changes with every choice you make...
every person you take into your heart and each person you let go...

I have never fit in...I was either too fat, too old, too young, too something - so I know how you feel...

Happiness in your life is what *you* believe is happiness, not someone else's version...contentment and love is what *you* hold in your heart...not what someone else believes.....and sometimes, other people need to let you know exactly how *perfect* their lives are - because they are not content, or happy, or loved...

I too have listened to lists of possessions, of cars, of houses, of exotic trips...there are people who categorize their lives this way...maybe that's all they can hold onto....

Oct. 27th, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC)
What do you define as life successes?

Isn't the point in life to be happy? Getting through school... the career... relationships... etc. aren't all those things intended to be means to achieve - a sense of well being?

Don't you find happiness in being who you are and what you do?

And, it is easy to see everyone as vanilla just because you haven't seen them at any leather events or groups, but no one really knows what goes on in the privacy of others' lives. Ya just never know. Some probably thing *you* are vanilla.

~ Pug

Oct. 27th, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
They all had life successes to talk about.
So have you.

My friends walked another path, and left me behind.
Are you sure? It sounds to me like you chose a different path and left them behind. (I know that's the case for me.) Would you really want to be where they are now?
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )