Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Back in the 'Ville

After over four weeks of being gone from Charlottesville, I arrived back on Sunday night, relieved to discover that my car still starts and my apartment was not broken into.

Travelling from C'ville to Toronto to Edmonton to New York and then back to C'ville seemed to be a showcase of all the different aspects of my life. As I travelled from place to place, I found different facets of who I am resonating with the people and my surroundings.

Through all this time, and given travel time to think and ponder between places, I came to two conclusions. First, that there is no place in the world where every part of who I am connects with other people. There are always aspects of my personality that connect really strongly, and others that don't quite match. In many ways, I found myself at odds with Edmonton before I left, because I found myself different in significant ways. (Namely that I was not married with children, nor about to have children.) But being back, and hanging out with my married friends, I found it fun to be able to dive into competitive strategy board games (Settlers of Catan, Agricola, etc.) and have fun on that level. On top of that, my friends there have known me for 5, 10 years, some even longer, and there's something comforting about being with people who know you.

Heading to New York, I got back in touch with friends from school, who are in a much closer place in life to where I am. But we have differences, too. Differences of faith, background, ways of seeing the world. So while in the career aspect, who I am resonates much more closely to these friends, in other aspects I am different.

But the realization that I came to through all of this, which any kindergarten teacher will tell you, is that we are all unique. It would be impossible to find someone exactly like me. Thus, it makes sense that I connect with a broad range of people and can't find anyone at exactly the same place in life that I am at.

And the second realization is that getting to know these people, being in their world and connecting with their friends will open you up, stretch your comfort zone and help you grow as a person. One of my many favourite moments of the trip was visiting with my friend's friends in their NYC apartment and seeing NYC from a resident's perspective.

1 comment:

Jackie said...

Loved this post and can totally relate.