I've always felt as if I don't belong to any particular group or category. This used to make me feel isolated and lonely. Now I see that it has given me a unique perspective. In high school I could hang out with the Chess club, the cheerleaders, the Poetry club and whomever else I felt like getting to know better. I was not a part of any of them, but I could relate with any of them. There were the gang members, the bullies, the druggies, the ones who had been to jail and the ostracized underdogs who I could sit with and have lunch.
It was a strange phenomenon that people just felt that they could open up to me. I never betrayed their trust. Many a "problem child" would bare their souls to me about their home life and their families. There was a bully who picked on me for a little while. One day at lunch, he sat down next to me. He said, "Do lots of people pick on you the way I used to?" He then proceeded to tell me about his parent's recent divorce and his sister's struggles with depression.
I have also not belonged to any economic class in my heart either. Growing up, my parents always had money so I've eaten at the best restaurants, lived in huge houses and ridden in luxury cars. I've travelled all over the world and stayed in the fanciest hotels. All the while, I've not felt like a part of it. I mean, I can relate with rich people, I just don't feel rich.
On the other hand, since I moved away from my parents, I've lived in my car, slept in construction sites, old buildings and laundry rooms of apartment complexes. I've had a bag of cat food I found be my only source of sustenance. There was a time when I delivered Auto Trader magazines to various gas stations around Tucson for $52 dollars a week. At that time, my only other income was donating my plasma twice a week for $20 a pop. That's less than $5000 a year.
I think all this has opened my eyes to the fact that everyone is looking for the same things. Cat food and sushi both fill the belly and provide nutrients. Tool sheds and luxury hotels both provide shelter. Millionaires and toothless, crack-addicted ex-cons can provide companionship and love. Buddha, Christ and a homeless, bipolar can recycler can give you wisdom. I have found God in death metal songs, country songs, zombie books, classic literature, B-rated slasher flicks, television shows and in my turtle's eyes.
I'll leave you with a story. One day, back in college, I was walking around the University of Arizona. It was Autumn and leaves were falling. On the sidewalk, I noticed a leaf that fell in my path. I picked it up. Only parts of it had faded to yellow. Part was still green. The patterns spelled out the letters L-O-V-E. I knew it was a message from God. This was in the days before camera phones and such. I was near the dorm of a friend so I brought it to her, but by the time I walked to her place, the heat from my hand had faded the entire leaf to yellow. I wasn't able to share the miracle with anybody. From that I can see that God gives me love in ways that I can understand. It is then up to me to give love to people in ways that they can understand. This blog and my stories are my way of giving love to the world. Where have you found love and how do you share it?