It starts with inadequacy.
Not my earliest memory, but almost. My earliest memory is sunlight and wool—an indistinct understanding of paint on wood walls, and the smell of piles of old magazines.
Then there are memories of feeling inadequate. Of different sorts. Sometimes, it's being told to my face to go away. Often, it's an unsaid quality in the air—intangible but unmistakeable.
I've been thinking a lot about what it feels like to not belong. To always be on the outside: at best, you become used to it—even, you may eventually learn to thrive in it. When that happens, often it means you've stopped (forgotten) being able to function while belonging. Belonging becomes insupportable.
These may all be rationalizations, though. The fairytales one tells oneself to feel better for purposefully (purposefully?) making everyone in your immediate and not-so-immediate vicinity uncomfortable.
I have been thinking a lot about social media—specifically Twitter. Specifically, Twitter fatigue. Remember what that really famous guy said when he left Twitter, that the whole personal brand/social media thing :
is just another kind of art form — a creative job that doesn't pay.
Twitter can exasperate and magnify already existing conditions. This has proven to be true.
Is Twitter helping or worsening my own feelings of being alien? And alien from what? Perhaps. (Perhaps?) But the elements of Twitter that I find exhausting are rather similar to the elements I find exhausting in most social spaces. The fatigue isn't born from Twitter. It already exists elsewhere.
I miss having friends (not just work acquaintances, or twitter friends, or classmates whose names I recall) and it's more than just the shared history or people to go on adventures with. It's not just the recognition, or the feeling that someone has your back (though, really, that one is a mirage).
Maybe some people just aren't really meant to have friends. Or, probably, friends are not really a thing. Though, I suppose, if I really had an ounce of self-awareness, I'd probably decide that settling on this aphorism is probably a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The featured photo of Chrysaora fuscescens (Pacific sea nettle jellyfish) for this blog post is mine. See it on instagram.