Sunday, May 13, 2007

Fish out of Water

I got an e-mail the other day from a girl I knew in junior high school. We were in the same class for a couple years when we lived in St. Thomas. We were good friends for the short time we knew each other. Her house was so incredible it left a lasting impression on me. I used it for a setting in one of my short stories - The Devil in Me. I mentioned this when I wrote back to her, and she asked to read the story, so I sent her the link.
She sent me back a letter saying, " I miss that island understanding. I still feel like a fish out of water here in the States. Though the last time I went to St. Thomas ('98 for 4 weeks on vacation) it didn't feel like home anymore either. "

It got me thinking. I always feel like a fish out of water, no matter where I am. I never felt like I belonged in St. Thomas (or I'd still be there) or in the States, or even in Europe. I love it here, and I am perfectly happy no matter where I am (Village Idiots 'R Us) but I definitely feel like a fish out of water. I'm happy, and I feel content to be wherever I am, but no matter where I am, I have the impression that I'm a blue guppy in a bowl of goldfish.

I was about to write back to her that I was sure Everyone felt that way. But I'm suddenly not so sure. My neighbor brought my dogs back this morning (they got out of the garden and happily accompanied him on his rounds at the farm. He let them follow him, then brought them back. Auguste and Rusty were thrilled. A walk! A new friend!) I asked him if he ever thought of living anywhere else but here, and he looked at me like I was flopping on the bank of a pond, and shook his head. "Nope."

So maybe my friend and I are the only ones who feel that we are fish out of water, no matter where we are. What about you? Do you sometimes feel like you're a fish out of water? Or are you, like my neighbor, comfortable in your environment?


Myfanwy said...

You are absolutely right!
Whilst drifing between sleep and awake last night I had an unusual thought as a result of cleaning out a plethora of "junque" that I have accumulated. By way of explanation, I am "downsizing" myself. Anyway, I was wondering why I had this particular object and I suddenly had the distinct feeling that at one point my life was going to be somewhere else and suddenly everything changed. Hence this feeling that I don't belong here either.
So what ae we going to opt for? Time travel does exist but beacuse we went back and changed everything THIS has now become our reality and we have no memory of something that didn't happen? Figure that one out??..lololo..OR aliens really are beaming people up and screwing with our memories, plopping us back on earth and playing us like a chess board.
I still have this feeling that I should have been somewhere else all my life; maybe that is just wishful thinking.

Sam said...

I am starting to feel a little better. So far the score is:
Fish out of water: 3
Goldfish right at home: 2

Since I'm making a scientific study out of this, (n'est pas) I can use acconyms and cool stuff, thus, the fish out of water will be hereforth known as FOW's and those happy campers, er, swimmers, will be GRAH's.

tracy macnish said...

I have never felt settled where I am. Happy, yes, incredibly so. I don't believe that geography can be subsituted for happiness, though it can contribute to it.

However, there are a few places I've visited where I felt comfortable enough to entertain the idea of living there. Whisteler, BC is one. New York City is another, and Naples, Flordia is one more....the mountains, the city, and the beach. Argh! No wonder I've got this problem - I'm schizophrenic!

I always have the feeling I should be somewhere else, that I'm missing out. I also have this constant restlessness, a sense of urgency, and a never-ending desire to go somewhere else, see something else, live other places, try something new.

Tracy MacNish, FOW

Verilion said...

Well Sam, I live here and since I started moving I worked out that I moved 13 times in 17 years. I think all that stability in my early years was a little... too stable. But there's something inside that is always asking: so what else is there? It's calming down, but every now and again I can feel it rolling over and getting tired and growling a little, but I content it with a little cross Paris jaunt and so far that's been enough!

Anonymous said...

I move a lot. The Boy is 4 and has lived in 3 provinces, and 5 cities. By his age I'd travelled half way around the world and visited more than 10 countries.

I usually feel comfortable no matter where I am. As long as there is no moss growing on me.

Sam said...

Hi Tracy, Seeley, and Virilion!
One FOW and two GRAH's.
OK, that makes it:
FOW's: 4
A tied score!

Connie said...

Woud you please care to give advice re horses on my journal post? Thank you.

John Nez said...

I feel more like a salmon out of water... with dreams of maybe one day returning to where it's 'really' home.

The irony is that I've actually lived on this same street in Seattle for longer than I've lived anywhere else. But my true home is in Denver... or so it seemed. I got to go visit there and walk down that street about 2 years ago. It was the high point of the trip... and luckily I got to take about 70 pictures... snapping madly every house on the block. Espescially 'the house'.

I was so glad to see that hardly anything has changed and that the old neighborhood is still a nice street.

Very interesting topic! I think the only way to not feel like a fish out of water is to never have moved... but then that would require a special kind of personality that I'd never have.

I've prattled on far too long... but interestingly, I actually sent away for a real estate booklet for Denver just the day before yesterday.... lol!


Bonita said...

My DH and I have moved about 20 times during our 29 year marriage, but all within the state of Louisiana. I am very content here, but then, I do tend to be a calm, happy person. However, if my DH said we were moving tomorrow, I would be packing my bags and drawing house plans -- LOL

December Quinn said...

I feel very out of place here, but I did in FL too. I never have felt completely like I fit in.

My husband deals with this a lot. He grew up in England and was "the Yank." Then he moved back to the US and was "the English guy". Now we're back here and he's the Yank again.

Bernita said...

Always an exile.

ERiCA said...

I'm one of those annoying types who always feels right at home, even if it's my first time in some random country where I don't even speak the language. I actually kind of *like* being outside of my normal zone, and if I ever feel out of place, it's when I get restless to leave my normal environment and pop up somewhere else for a while. =)

Oopsy Daisy said...

Put me in the fish out of water side. I left my hometown at age 18 and when I finally went back 14 years later I no longer belonged. A couple of years there and then I was out of state again. I lived more years away form home then I have at home. Who knows where home is anymore. It's sad really.

Sam said...

Thanks for chiming in, December, Bernita, Bonita, Daisy, John and Erica.
If my count is right, it's:

So there are more FOW's than contented minnows!
I had a feeling it would be so - though not as close, I really thought it would be more than a 3 to 4 ratio. But I'm happy for all those GRAH's, and as for us FOW's - we're still a happy bunch, we just haven't found the right bowl yet.

Wynn Bexton said...

Being the gypsy that I am, I love traveling around and some places I've been I feel as if I 'belong' in some way. Greece is like that to me. And I had a good feeling also about Chile. I'm also lucky to be living in a beautiful part of the world (the Pacific Northwest). And as for my new apartment I simply love being here. But part of me is always torn between here and there.

Kay Richardson said...

Yes. Your blog is 'rad'. And I do 'ship overseas' (sexual euphemism).

Rosie said...

I grew up a military brat and we moved alot. So I don't really feel like I have roots anywhere. Although when I visited Italy it felt familiar to me and comfortable.

Now I've lived in the same house for 20 years, but I don't think of California as "home". Home for me is a person not a place. I always feel like I'm home when I'm with GG. Meeting him was like fitting the last piece into a puzzle and the picture was finally complete.

I know, this is sort of a non-answer isn't it?