You know how people are supposed to feel like their house is theirs? How you expect that one day you’ll feel at home in your own space and in your own skin? Well, I don’t. And I never have.
I have always felt as though I’m just biding my time wherever I am. In my relationships, in my dwelling places, my offices, my jobs. I’m just filling a space, bridging a gap, pausing for a moment but never truly settling in. Whether I’m filling spaces for others or for myself, I can’t be sure. But that’s all it’s ever felt like.
I’ve never felt as though anything I have is truly mine. If someone came along with a compelling reason he deserved my coat more than I did, I’d probably give it to him. And then I’d apologize for having kept it so long.
As with all other character traits of this sort, the worst part is not the listlessness or the feeling of being alien even on my home turf. It’s the shame of feeling that way. It’s the knowledge that I will never be perceived as “cool” by the people around me because I have nothing that is mine. The recollection of being deemed a “chameleon” with no defining characteristics, no hobbies, no real identity that wasn’t formed in an effort to fit in. I thought someday I’d move past that. I was sure I’d get older and more fully formed and suddenly I’d have passions and convictions and things that make me me. But I don’t. And I don’t feel at home here. Not just in Memphis or in my house but in my body, sometimes even inside my head. I feel as though I am both trapped and drifting. And it’s the worst feeling in the world.