Feeling Out of Place

Final Book CoverThis blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, retirees, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after retirement. Her public lecture on this subject is titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available by clicking here Amazon.com. Click here for her website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

Now, on to my blog:

flamingosSometimes we find ourselves in situations where we feel out of place; you know, that awkward, uncomfortable sensation because we don’t quite fit in. We try to adapt, but all we can think of is, how do I get out of here?  It’s particularly hard in a situation where everyone else seems to know each other, to interact comfortably, and we are the odd man out.

I think everyone has found themselves in such a predicament at some time in their lives. We dread it, and often avoid participating in a potentially interesting activity because we fear we may experience that distasteful feeling yet again.  The one thing we forget is that everyone was in the same dilemma in some  venue somewhere when they first attended, and they were the odd man out.  They felt uneasy and thought of bolting.

As I’ve previously discussed in this blog, I moved to a large, active retirement community three years ago knowing no one.  I was intimidated and uncomfortable everywhere I went.  The community offers a plethora of clubs, events, sports, and activities of all kinds.

Each thing I attended, I had to go alone.  Of course, it seemed like everyone else there was with lots of friends.  It was hard, and I often debated whether to even make the effort.  However, the thought of isolating myself inside my four walls was worse.  Slowly, I found my own friends, became comfortable, and now I’m very happy.

You must push yourself and bear up under the discomfort in order to reap the rewards, just like you’ve had to do all your life at school, in your job, dating, raising children, and so on.  Just like all skills, the more you do it, the more adept you become.

It seems we must wade through the sludge to get to the gold.  So, hang in there, keep going back, keep starting conversations with other participants.  It will slowly get better.  It makes it easier realizing that it doesn’t just happen to you, it happens to everyone, no matter how rich, attractive, successful, or accomplished.

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Photo credit: gcalsa on Visual Hunt / CC BY-ND

3 Comments

Filed under active seniors, Baby boomers, gerontology, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, senior citizen, successful aging

3 responses to “Feeling Out of Place

  1. This is a sweet reminder of how we’re all more alike than not. In reality, it can be easier to meet people when one is alone, rather than with others.

    • It’s always been hard for me to do things alone. I’m getting better at it. I think you’re correct. When you’re alone, you have to strive harder to meet people, and you’ll probably meet others you wouldn’t have met if you had spent all your time talking to the friend you came with.

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