When I was in Fifth Grade, our class put together a little ‘yearbook’ type deal to commemorate our ‘graduation’ from Elementary to Middle school. Among other things, there was section where we were to put down a nickname if we had one. I did not. However, I made one up (“Golfer” as I’d played golf once or twice at that age, and Dad played it often.) When the book came out, people poked fun at me because A) it wasn’t true and B) it was lame. I desperately wanted to be accepted.
In Middle school, I added signatures from fictional movie and literary characters to the blank pages in my yearbooks so that there weren’t the huge gaping holes between the various “Have a Great Summer” signatures.
I didn’t have a girlfriend until I was 17. Aubrey was a nice girl, and I still remember our first kiss. She didn’t have a great home life, and I personally feel those eight months were more of an escape for her than any real attachment. I, of course, latched on quickly since I hadn’t received that kind of attention before. Prom was unmemorable.
When I moved to Topeka, I was often ridiculed by my co-workers. Whether it be my poor sense of style or generally conservative viewpoints, I made an easy target. My manager(s) normally picked me for the lesser duties knowing I wouldn’t complain or raise any issues.
I have spent the majority of my years on this planet feeling out of place and that I have nothing to contribute. I haven’t felt that I have the adequate skill to create anything of value, nor provide an irreplaceable value to someone else’s life. I don’t make friends easy (acquaintances, sure, but that’s because I’m so amiable…it’s nearly impossible for me to be difficult).
When I met Indi, it was the first time that I really felt like someone special. Our marriage has been the greatest blessing I’ve ever known. She makes me into a better person by challenging who I am (and why) and opening my mind to endless possibilities.
I still don’t think I have a lot of value to add, but my upcoming trip is a big question mark for me. I’ve tried many times to break out of my shell and try to figure out who I really am. I don’t know my place here. I feel like a drag on people and I need that to stop.
What do I provide or create that makes me different? What can I do that both makes me happy and makes others say, “That’s why he is my friend.”? I don’t know right now. But I hope to soon.