Posted by: GeekHiker | June 8, 2009


It’s been strange, the last couple of days.

The blogs I read.  The movies I’ve been seeing.  The people I’ve talked to.

Strange because I find I don’t have any connection to the experiences I’m reading/watching/listening to.

Perfectly average experiences, mind you.  Commonplace.  Things that are basic, that happen or have happened to just about anyone you might meet or talk to on the street.

Experiences that are what people normally refer to as being “just a part of life”.  Things that are a part of “coming of age”.  Touchstones along the path of life.

Experiences I haven’t had, and so leave me feeling disconnected and unable to comment.  Unable to relate.

It makes it difficult to comment on the blogs.  Hard to watch the movies.  Impossible to do anything in conversation but nod my head as though I can relate to what everyone else around the table is discussing, being unable to contribute any experience of my own to the conversation.

While I know everyone feels that they’re not “normal” from time to time, when I hold up the milestones and experiences of my life and compare them to most others, I find myself lacking on some of even the most basic levels.

I find that there isn’t much correlation.

And there are many days that I wish that there was.



  1. Hmmm, well, can’t say that I can totally relate to your inability to relate. I do certainly know what it feels like to look around, compare yourself to other people and find yourself lacking, I do that more often than I should. It isn’t very productive though, to set yourself up against other people and societal expectations or expectations you’ve held for yourself, you are always going to fall short in some way. Easier said than done…believe me, I know.

  2. There must be something going around because I feel a bit…disconnected to. The only thing that works is diving for me into something new and preparing to be surprised.

  3. I’ve experienced this when spending time with a bunch of girlfriends who have kids. They all talk and I find myself drifting off in a fog of boredom and feelings of being the foreigner among friends.

    Whenever I need to “reconnect,” I turn to friends who are like me – or I watch Sex and the City. That probably wouldn’t work for you 🙂 but maybe there’s another show/movie/or book that would make you feel more understood and connected?

  4. We’ll always have hiking.

  5. I haven’t been normal…well, ever. I embrace my abnormalness. It’s been kind of crazy. I figure that most men just nod a lot. Weird yes, but true. So, no worries about that stuff. Just continue to nod, people are most often just happen you’re there. I know I am. I look forward to reading your blog, I think more than anything because I can’t relate.

    Weird hm?

  6. If it makes you feel at all better, I feel like life is hurling my “touchstones” at me. I feel old and worn down and decrepit and exhausted.

  7. Aren’t movies, books, or blogs interesting exactly BECAUSE they present a different experience? I think of them as some sort of escapism, giving me a chance to live vicariously through the characters, while in the safety of my own cocoon! 🙂 Of course resonance is great if you find something in common with the author, character or blogger, but I think it’s the difference that we crave (okay, or not).

    Unless you were talking about something deeper, like your feeling of being stuck (or something like that). In that case, well, that’s a whole other ballgame!

  8. S’dizzle – I think we all do it more than we should, but I have no idea how to stop it.

    TheCoconutDiaries – I think so many new things I’ve tried lately haven’t worked out, I’m just sort of beat on that front.

    Mel Heth – Unfortunately, no. Everything that’s available simply reinforces how I feel.

    BackPackerMomma – I suppose so. But even that is starting to lose its effectiveness.

    CripKitty – And yet, in so many ways, you’re actually closer to normal than I…

    Mrs Chuck Bartowski – Maybe so, but you’re at least living.

    K – I suppose so. But at the same time, I read blogs, read common experiences that I haven’t had, and my life feels it has less breadth. And, certainly, being stuck is definitely a factor.

  9. Normal? Bah! Scoff at normal! Who wants to be like everyone else and have the same milestones? Why follow the Lifescript? I’m being serious. Sure, it would make it easier to relate to other people because you would all have the same story to tell but YAWN! Unless, of course, you are talking about the inability to relate=loneliness. That’s a different matter altogether and that sucks. But you know what? You can relate to someone and still be lonely. So, I guess I’m just a fount of good news today.

  10. I think it is okay to simply BE for a little while. In my experience, whnever these feelings have come upon me, the only thing to do is wait it out-because most of the time it means I should be internally resting for some big change coming up. Don’t know what the change might be, but rest, garner your strength, stop trying to force yourself to feel connected, and something will suddenly be different.

  11. I love Kori’s words. I’m still working on just *being* when I am in a similar state. It’s isolating, to bear witness to experiences which we can’t relate.

    One thing I try to remind myself though, is despite the differences, there are still similarities. People deal with similar feelings.

    Like if you look at stuff I’ve been blogging about recently (a temp move, etc), maybe that doesn’t apply to everyone. But the stuff I’m not writing about (at least not yet) is something common to lots of us.

    Like how I am still processing the pain of a friend’s rebuff back home and still don’t know why they acted that way, am scared I won’t fully fit in at my new place, and how do I deal with my paralyzing inability to dive into all my projects?

    Surely other people can relate. (Although I suppose if I don’t write about it, they can’t know what’s *really* going on inside.)

  12. i am sending you a virtual slap to snap you out of it. (don’t worry, it’s a light slap.)
    life is not a hollywood film and not all milestones are for everyone. hell, if i was going by that then 2009 would be the year that i officially failed life.
    but i like to think of it as a learning experience.

    you can always join dingo at the trapeze school. a little adrenile can do wonders.

  13. I’m not entirely sure what “normal” is actually or what milestones are meant to mark us all…but I think that a feeling of disconnect happens to everyone at sometime. So does the feeling of missing out or always playing catch up…I guess we just have to make the best of what we have!

  14. Dingo – I guess I’m thinking of a couple of kinds of normal. There’s societal normalities, which I don’t necessarily aspire to, and then there are more human normalities. And it’s those where I am lacking.

    Kori – I have “been” for a long time. I suppose I don’t really believe any big “changes” are coming at this point.

    Spleeness – I think my comment to Dingo applies here as well. Hopefully you’ll write up what you’re thinking of soon so I have some insight into your philosophy…

    BlakSpring – No, life is not a Hollywood film, nor was I thinking of such. The things I’m thinking of are experiences I’ve heard or know of from real, live people. That makes all the difference in the world.

    Ruby – I wonder if I’ve done that too…

  15. Been there, done that, will do that again.

    Normal is fine … for someone else. Unique is often better.

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