There’s a certain exhaustion with going against the grain. I am feeling that sensation at my core right now, and trying to find the way to float along with the current. I keep asking, “What am I fighting?” It’s not like I”m trying to fight anything. But the idea that there is “something wrong” with me, my life, my past, my future…it keeps me in a perpetual state of hovering. I shouldn’t say “perpetual” since I’ve felt this way for only a few moments. I like to overdramatize.

This is not an unfamiliar feeling. It feels like I’ve always felt. Going against the grain. Others I’ve known who have worn their against-the-grain-ness on their sleeves in the form of different-colored hair, pierced body parts, tattoos, or “alterna-clothing” — and I’m talking about the high school sense of the word “different” — manage to have at least the appearance of fitting in. They wear the signature look of someone who is going against the grain. Funny that it’s a very identifiable style that says, “I’m not one of the “in” crowd.” In other words, it signifies belonging to another crowd – the non-conformers.

But the kind of going-against-the-grain that I’m talking about is more subtle. It’s less visible, because it’s about thoughts, beliefs, and ways of processing the events of one’s life. It’s about creating the silence and stillness in which to really hear your own voice.

You see, we talk about finding your own voice, but really what most of this ends up being is code for finding the group to which you feel like you belong. We’re all actually – secretly – looking for the right chorus to join.

I know it’s no fun to be a soloist all your life. We think we want the spotlight, the stage, the front of the room. But it’s a lonely place, without a band, backup singers, or a group of your own people to meet you backstage and go home with you. I’ve done that whole act, and I don’t need to stage a revival.

I want to get involved in meaningful service to a population that will resonate with my story. I know these people — my people — are out there somewhere. I’m just calling to them, trying to help them find me. I’m getting ready for them to arrive, practicing and learning everything I can, being as transparent as I can, so that what I share will be authentic.

Right now I’m just noticing that sometimes it feels like a long swim upstream.

Remembering the salmon, I keep going.

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