Among the shots and the rounds, the friends and the fun, I found a graduation photo framed on his shelf, a candid shot of the Class of ’05.
Every one of my “clique” was among the faces. There were others as well, people I knew from class, even though I never talked to them. How different they all looked — all prim and proper in academic regalia — yet familiar.
I was the only one not in co-op, and graduated a year before everyone else. My convocation was insignificant. I only went because my parents wanted to see me make that walk that stage, a return on their investment. I don’t know who the dean of my faculty was, or who handed me my diploma. I was just another number in a profiteering institution. It meant nothing.
But seeing that photo struck a chord in me.
It made me realize how I’ve never really fit in. How I never belonged to a group. For some reason, I still long for that, or, perhaps, to have had that at one point in my life. Last time it was elementary and high-school. This time it was university. I don’t know why. I have my own group of friends now. Not a clique, because they don’t hang out with each other, but a motley crew I’ve built through the years.
The logical side of me understands that it isn’t significant. That it doesn’t, and shouldn’t matter. That nothing is more boring and pedestrian than fitting in.
But another part of me feels like I missed out on something.
And I don’t know if I’ll ever let that go.