Role

— attempts to assimilate

flower tree

I don’t fit anywhere.

That’s exactly how I felt yesterday. It seemed like everyone in the world had a place–except me.

I was watching my videos and realized how terrible they were. There’s no story, I can barely stay awake watching. What am I doing? Working on things I’m so terrible at?

I’ve entered so many worlds where I don’t fit in. I spent a couple years on business school only to realize I’m incapable of working in an office.

So many dead ends…

The earliest I’ve had this feeling was back in kindergarten. Heavy rains left a large pool of water under the school swing set. No one could play on the playground during recess.

The girl who always had a new horse t-shirt just came back with a souvenir from Sea World. She started doing tricks with a toy Shamu in a muddy puddle, everyone from class gathered to watch. They oooooo’ed and ahhhh’ed as if they were watching a real whale.

“A plastic whale??? Give me a break.”

The next day I brought a toy from a Cookie Crisp Cereal box. A plastic squirt toy came in the shape of the Cookie Crisp Burglar.

Could this gather a crowd?

A burglar jumping into and out of muddy water did not capture attention as much as the graceful Shamu. I remember thinking, this is terrible, no one cares.

‘Hey guys, look over here… He’s doing a flip!’

Well, I was already there. I kept performing like I was having fun doing it with or without them. This was a moment I’ll always remember. Not knowing what I’m doing while everyone watches.

Finally, a few kids came over.

They came because they wanted to try out the burglar. They saw how water squirt out of its mouth.

Why did I make the burglar move like Shamu? It had its own thing going on. The following day, I had a longer line of kids wanting to try out my cereal toy.

Those first moments, putting on a Sea World spectacular with a burglar and no one responding, haunted me for years. I recall, less vividly, making sure each kid didn’t have too long of a turn with my toy. Recess is short.

I was too busy to enjoy the fact that I’d filled a role.

Perhaps this idea of ‘fitting in’, ‘having a spot in the universe’ is an illusory state. Only exists when I feel the least like I fit anywhere and doesn’t necessarily exist outside of it.

I don’t remember feeling great having my toy become the star at recess. In fact, I remember being annoyed that I could no longer enjoy the toy myself without the interest of so many bystanders.

Guess I just have to settle into not ever knowing what I want.

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