In the last year and a half or so I’ve had to “learn my place” in various aspects of my life. This has not always been a pleasant or graceful process. Maybe it never is if our place isn’t what we think or expect it to be.
I heard someone talking about Edgar Allen Poe recently and they mentioned that he had never seemed comfortable in the world. They speculated it was because he was orphaned at an early age and so he never felt like he belonged anywhere, that he fit anywhere.
I think the difficulty comes when the place we’ve long defined as “ours” is no longer occupied by us. When we lose our place, we lose our footing. There’s much flailing around as we struggle to get a grip again, and find a new place. We have to learn how to function within this new framework that’s not of our own choosing.
It feels alien to be removed from a place we’ve always thought of as ours. It’s nearly impossible to fathom that we are no longer welcome there, no longer wanted, no longer needed. We thought it was “ours” and we held steadfast to it through thick and thin. But, then, one day, we realize we have to learn our place again. The one we knew, that we were comfortable with, is gone. This place, this space we thought would always be ours to occupy, is gone. Our place has been eliminated, usurped, modified, gifted, or otherwise changed.
Although it’s heartbreaking, we have to accept that it will never be again. It’s gone. And we must go on to another town, home, job, relationship, whatever “place” it is.
We’ll never again have that same feeling of coming home to that figural place we knew as ours. The world gloats as its good fortune of taking the place where we felt steady, loved, comfortable, and stable. Now we can only begin the search, and the long road of mistakes, that will lead to learning our new place..