I don’t like joining groups.
The reason appears straightforward. The groups and organizations that I would like to join are generally related to skills that I’ve practiced for years. But I’m only twenty-four, with a single degree and just a few lines on my resume. I usually don’t receive the level of respect, and the concomitant autonomy, that I need. I’m faced with the choice of remaining in the group, limited by my junior station, or leaving—free to sprint unshackled to the very limits of my intelligence and tenacity.
It’s never a difficult choice.
Each iteration of this cycle—join, frustation, quit, freedom—I end up growing in unexpected directions. I end up with weird stories and incredible skills and unusual ideas about the nature of reality. But most importantly, I end up alone, unable to relate to nearly anyone I meet, my mind the haphazard patchwork of a hundred different people.
I can tell you the sequences of elements that illuminate the afternoon sky. I can tell you about the ancient lineage of the proud cypress trees that dapple the shadows on our bare arms. I can tell you about the things we were before there were people and the reason you have two beautiful eyes and the molecular symphonies of thought and belief and love. But it frustrates me endlessly that I don’t know how to tell you what I am. My jigsaw puzzle doesn’t seem to form an image.