Tuesday, September 4, 2012
I have been feeling isolated again. I know this is internal, not external. But I so often feel set apart from the world around me. Even as I join new endeavors, meet new people, step out into the world, it is rare that I feel like I truly belong in the norm of the human race. I also realize that my new endeavors also tend to set me apart from the population a bit and place me in small sub-cultures. Is this a subconscious choice? Do I choose the path less traveled so that I can walk it alone? Am I such an Isolationist that even my attempts at "joining" only make the gap that much wider? I don't know. Or is it merely my mental state that alters my perception? Again, I don't know. I do know that so many days I move through the world feeling like a visitor, an observer, a tourist. An alien hiding behind the facade of being "one of us." I wear the mask of belonging to avoid feeling completely alone. I wear my skin like the costume of a superhero, to protect my true identity and help me feel impervious to attack. There are days though, when the supersuit feels frayed, splitting at the seams, tattered, thin. Days when my true identity bubbles to surface and I am under threat of exposure. When my carefully constructed protection splits and gaps, allowing pain and injury. These are the days when I fall back into my Fortress of Solitude, mentally, physically. It is when I see the world through alien eyes. When I feel surrounded by the unfamiliar, uncomfortable, unknown. These are the days when not only do I feel isolated, but also when I must rely on superhuman effort to stay the course, to remain in the public eye, to go out into the alien landscape. I must not withdraw into my protective shell, and this is truly a superhuman effort. I must not hide myself away, avoiding all contact. The effort is great, heroic, painful. I feel flayed and delicate, nerves raw and exposed. But I know I have the Heart, Strength, Fortitude to fight against my own inner workings. I can keep treading the path I have chosen, even though it is the road less traveled, and find a few like-minded travelers. And if not, I will continue on alone, pursuing my dreams and goals, knowing that there are a few fellow aliens nearby. Yes, I do know I am not alone, even on these days when I feel it most poignantly. I am not alone.