Long to Belong

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.

I know it does­n’t make sense. There’s a rea­son I was nev­er tru­ly a part of any group.

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.


  1. This is pret­ty much spot on as to how I felt at my con­vo­ca­tion a few months ago.

  2. I don’t think we’re alone on this either.

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