Wednesday, March 30, 2016

When You No Longer Belong

That moment when you realize that you no longer belong.

It sort of sneaks up on you in a lot of situations, I think.  You are, for the most part, consumed with living your own lives, carrying on with the day to day responsibilities of what you have to get done.  Head down, hands on keyboard, moving through the seemingly inexhaustible pile of items calling for our attention.

Until suddenly you look up and realize that you are out of place.

Sure, things have changed. Change is a major part of modern life.  People come and go, policies changed, projects rise and fall, furniture comes in to fashion and then out.  These are the normal expectations one has come to have of modern life.

But it is the subtly changed undercurrent that leaves one feeling adrift.

It might seem a little undefinable at first, that nagging feeling that something is slightly different.  You try and shrug it off - you have been pretty busy, to be sure.  Maybe you have been a little out of touch.  But then as you start to pay attention, you realize that things have changed. The power structure has shifted.  Policies which seem disjointed suddenly lock together into a relevant tapestry.

And you realize that you have been left behind.

Perhaps not physically left behind - after all, we all serve a purpose.  But you are no looked to or for as a contributor; instead, you are simply expected to shut up and go along.  The way things were are not the way things are and best that you simply accept the fact and quietly go back to your corner.

All of a sudden all that seemed so important loses its glamour.  The years of sacrificing and going the extra mile are washed away, left on the other side of a gully filled by a stream you can no longer cross.

It is a shocking thing when it happens - and yet, the most freeing thing in the world.  Suddenly, you are presented with the fact that perhaps for the first time in a long time, you can get on with your life.

After all, you are no longer of import.  So who will notice?


Anonymous said...

I haven't arrived to the point that you have in the last two paragraphs. I have come to similar ideas though that I don't belong, but only through the conclusions that as the veil lifted that perhaps I never really belonged, at least to the point that I thought I did, to begin with.

To me, it's a sad feeling.

Rev. Paul said...

That is an important point you make, and a critical distinction. I've noticed in the last couple of years that my grown daughters' opinions no longer rely on my input before formation. Yes, we raised them well, and they're both successful. Just the same, it's hard to get out of the habit of being consulted.

Now ... to find that freedom of which you speak. :)

PeteForester1 said...

"After all, you are no longer of import." This is what TPTB want you to think. DON'T FALL FOR IT! Just because you're going one way and everyone else is going another doesn't make you wrong! Sure; many of today's young'uns will think they know it all because "they read the book, and watched the video," but you and I know better than that! Keep marching to God's drum! Don't give up! Stand back, wait for the train wreck, and then go in and rescue whoever's left...

This our job as elders...

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

It is a very sad feeling. And I think you are right, part of the issue is that one wants to feel like one belongs - perhaps even one deluded one's self very highly to belong. And then when the veil comes off there is an intense sense of pain - which is odd, because it is pain for something that never was.

Perhaps it is simply a form of grieving over something perceived as held which was lost.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

The Oldest is getting there as well - in some ways is probably beyond the immediate need for commentary. I still nudge when I can, of course...

The freedom would be nice. Maybe I am not working hard enough?

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

That mirrors a great deal of my thinking, Pete. There is a high level sense that things are simply going to go off the rails and there is little enough I can do about it except watch, prepare, and pray. Perhaps that is why this distance has developed in my soul - like any other upcoming loss, the mind is adapting by pre-emptively pulling me away. It still makes me sad.