So I am sitting here, at Starbucks in Winnipeg, writing this on the back of a bus schedule. It is early morning. I am struck by the fact that this place is full, but everyone here looks the same. There is a line-up of middle upper-class, middle aged men, with the same haircut and eyeglasses, the same iPhones and leather jackets. I stick out with my green (grey? I am color blind) pants, slightly frayed at the bottom.
It occurs to me that, like in so many other areas of my life, I really don’t belong here. I mean, really. And I wonder again what the deal is. Am I really this weird? That I don’t feel at home in my family, my church, my workplace. Is this a normal phenomenon? Or is it just me?
I sip my coffee. Overpriced. Fair trade in that Starbucks sort of way.
I think of where I have fit in in the past. My residence experiences at Providence were truly meaningful. I really knew that I belonged there. Most recently, I feel most at home with my friends and colleagues from the Student Christian Movement and the World Student Christian Federation. I was at our San Francisco conference a few weeks ago and I remember being so sad to leave. The second I got there I felt like I truly belonged. Like these people understand who I am and what I am trying to do in life. It seems that at home in Winnipeg I am spending so much time explaining my justice work, and even defending it to people who think it their business to crush my dreams and take away the most significant, meaningful experiences I have had.
My heart hurt to leave San Francisco, and the people there. This was even more tangible, as I had to leave a day before everyone else (my only comfort being found in the Denver airport bathroom – there are dinosaurs engraved in the floor. Fantastic).
It is good to feel like I belong. It feeds my soul, and I live for the times where I get to be with SCM-ers, doing the work that we do in that super quirky way that we do it. The next gathering is May. I can’t wait.
So what does this mean? Do I even belong in Winnipeg? Or is this a normal feeling?