Out of Place
For most of my life, I’ve felt out of place or that I don’t belong. I’ve felt it was my fault that I felt like this, that I was the way I was.
I remember being in my very early teens, maybe 13 or 14, and likening myself to a “multi-faceted gem” because I liked so many things and had so many interests. I wasn’t like my classmates at school who knew exactly what they wanted, who they wanted to date, and how they wanted their lives to turn out. When I was 8, I wanted to be a surgeon. By the time I was 13, I only knew what I didn’t want.
When I met my husband, I loved that he had a garden, and lamented that I’d never had one, living in Los Angeles for 22 years.
Growing Up Different
I grew up in a “normal” neighborhood in Los Angeles. Kind of.
I was a Shiksa in a Jewish neighborhood. I learned to keep a Kosher Kitchen. I learned the Sabbaths and Jewish Calendar. Most of the kids I went to school with had parents and grandparents who had either survived the Holocaust or perished in it. I didn’t have any grandparents that I knew of, so I fit in. Kind of.
I was taught in the typical public schools in the typical way. I was graded a fair student for most of my classes, but I was falling behind. Not because I couldn’t do the work, mind you, but because I was bored.
I thought there was something wrong with me. After all, my mom told me there was. I tried to tell her that school was boring, but she thought I wasn’t applying myself. Most of my teachers decided that was the case. Guidance counselors thought that was the problem, too.
I took Latin because doctors need to know it. I sang in the a-capella group because it was the elite thing to do. I took music theory and decided I didn’t like it. I took science only because I had to. I slept through math and worked my butt off in algebra.
But I was different. Not only was I not Jewish, I was bored out of my tree.
Spiritual and Religious Labels
At the time, my spirituality wasn’t an issue, but it became one later, when I could not commit to christianity or judaism, or any other religion. None of them fit my psyche.
Add to that I had been abused (though no one knew it but my sister and our abuser), had divorced parents, had a brain that worked at a different speed and level than everyone around me, and I was ripe to be a problem-child. And of course, I was.
When I was 13 I decided that my parents were pretty useless except to support me until I was old enough to move out and do it for myself. Sad commentary, I know.
About that time, I started having visions that reminded me of stuff that happened when I was first born until I was 4. I started to see auras, spirit-bodies, and ghosts. I started to astral travel, and get educated in things that most folks never even suspect from the other side – the spirit side – by guides and gurus who had departed (or not, in some cases). When I was 16, I was holding my own against a coven of witches who didn’t think someone my age should know the arts and wanted to teach me not to meddle. They ended up disbanding, I think.
When I was old enough to move out of my mom’s place, I did. I dropped out of school (over-age) and set about getting experience so someone would hire me. Again, people tried to pidgeon-hole me with labels.
It took a few years, but I ended up getting involved with computers and never looked back. I programmed them, set them up, taught folks how to use them and moved on to the next company. Because I worked for a temp agency to do all this, I was deemed “unreliable.” All this before temping was cool.
Later, I went back to school and got a math degree. Eleven years after that, I got a degree in Women’s Studies. I’m still looking for a grad degree in mythology that draws me. I take classes on things that interest me – anything from literature to movies to science to computing – when and where I can.
Still, that’s all labels.
Labels I Like
I like the label “Polymath” because it comes closest to explaining how my brain works.
I like the label “Author” because it means I share what I know and think through the written word.
I like the label “Introvert” because it tells me how I charge my batteries and why I’m so drained by crowds
Maybe there’s a label out there for my spirituality someplace.