I've found my peeps.

Most of my life prior to er...sophmore year of college was spent as the weird kid looking in on everything that seemed not awkward. I watched other friends and acquaintances flit through public school like it was the Best Thing Ever while I felt uncomfortable and out of place for about 90% of my waking life. I think I gave up early on trying to fit in and just made the most out of being as nonconformist as possible (and in the process, becoming an attention whore). If you asked me then, I would never never have admitted it.

College was great because I made a few close friends and with those people, I could do anything and everything that was interesting to me and it wasn't awkward (chinese checkers). it didn't make me feel like an outsider. Of course, in the Abercrombie & Fitch catalog that was Marist college, I can't say we were really in our element overall, but we were insulated enough with other people with similar interests that it didn't matter. At least, it didn't matter to me as much as it did in high school.

Grad school further pushed me into a group of people who were so similarly minded, intelligent, driven and dynamic that I don't even remember wondering what the rest of Rutgers Camden was like, in hind sight, this might be better.

My experience thus far in the Peace Corps has been like grad school x 20. There must be a certain pattern of experiences, qualities, interests etc that tend to draw people into the peace corps, making this small cache of about 70 Americans the largest pool of people that I feel totally comfortable around. It feels to me what I always imagined public school being like for all the people that seemed popular. Only in this case, there is significant meaning behind what drives us, attracts us to this work and bonds us together.

(I was trying to get to a point where I could rationalize why I played 3 games of risk over the course of 5 nights of IST rather then go out on the town in Ohrid or do other less nerdy activities.)

1 comment:

ellen said...

this gets me even more excited about going to macedonia--i've been out of college for a year now and am starting to forget how it feels to be around people with similar interests & experiences.

also, thanks for the Infinite Jest offer--i'm going to take you up on that! i'm sure that when i'm packing i'll just replace it with some other 10 lb book (don quixote? ulysses?) that i'll never get around to reading. see you in september!