Beyond skill and safety: Finding yourself in the unfamiliar
One could say that I’ve been making the same mistake over and over throughout my young life. I have always made the soulmate assumption about any of the people, places and things that I’ve encountered by chance—that because the connection was made, it was fated to be permanent and meaningful and good.
I navigated my first serious romantic relationship (and, let’s get real, every one after it) from the operational principle that we wouldn’t have been brought together by the whimsy of chance if it weren’t supposed to be the relationship. I made the same mistake with my college roommates. We collectively felt that because some administrators had decided one March that we four might survive freshman year without killing one another, this meant we were bound to be friends for life. And, of course, I carried this belief even into my relationship with my city. Curiously, I only grew more committed to my hometown the older I grew. Rather than making the usual attempts to distance myself from the familiar, I entrenched myself further into the city that had most shaped me.