It’s hard not to look inward when I fail over and over and over again. It’s hard to not to look inward and ask “what is wrong with me” when yet again my hopes and desires are thwarted for no apparent reason. It’s hard not to look inward and ask “am I insane” when other people look like they’re adjusting to the apparent chaos and insanity around them with such nonchalant ease.
Sometimes I wonder – is everyone in on some sort of sick, machiavellian game? When did they start playing this game, and why am I not in on it?
A few weeks ago I listened to Tim Ferriss’s conversation with Samin Nosrat, and a particular quote really touched me deeply. Here it is:
I believe there’s really two species of human beings. The first species is the most common, there’s more of them. They are individuals who, like we all, are born into a certain world and they become a product of that world. They absorb that environment they are born into, they become an extension of it, they become part of it… The rarer species, in my opinion, is the individual who has been damaged as a child. They have suffered misfortune and great tragedy. This doesn’t mean that they are better people, it just means they have suffered… And very few individuals suffer that tragedy. But what happens… is an invisible shell covers you. It protects you, so you don’t absorb the world you’re brought into, you don’t become part of that world… you observe that world.Marco Pierre White – as mentioned in the Tim Ferriss podcast
Not that I’m insinuating I was damaged as a child, per se. What drew me to the quote was the final sentence – that the author also felt that there is a certain type of person that has never been absorbed by the world around her. That there’s a type of person who, for the better or worse, move through life more comfortably as observers and appreciators than embedded participants.
When I was younger, all I wanted was to live a normal life. Go to school like a regular kid, wear hoodies that say “Gap” (and in high school, “AE”), learn to drive a car, and eat lunch with a regular group of friends. Needless to say, none of that ever happened. I was always on the fringe of whatever community I was brought into, be it my school, my sports team, my club activities, etc.
And now in hindsight, it feels okay. Either I’ve now become calloused to this desire to belong and to feel “normal,” or I’ve had so much practice with feeling out of place that I no longer feel the pain.
Anyway, none of this is probably going to make sense tomorrow. It’s 2:44AM. Good night, with love to the world.
What I’m listening to
Panic! At The Disco was the first band I had ever really liked, and produced the first CD that I had ever purchased (A fever you can’t sweat out). I remember listening to the songs on that album on repeat when I was a freshman in high school… Sit tight, I’m gonna need you to keep time
C’mon, just snap, snap, snap your fingers for me…
To be honest, it’s quite weird hearing PABT in 2018. It’s been 12 years since I first heard their songs, yet their music still brings me back to the good ol’ emo days of my childhood.
It’s true. I had high, high hopes for a living.