I had an existential crisis recently.
It was, of course, not the first time this has happened but I realised a few things quite out of the blue. And honestly, that’s never good for me because then I go on analysing myself for a few hours until I end up either crying or lying on the floor being annoyed with myself (who am I kidding, I’m always crying, I cry way too easily to not cry when I’m emotional).
Anyway, I wanted to write about this because I have so many thoughts about this topic stuck in my head and I want to note them down somewhere.
For years I have always felt like I’m different than my family and relatives. Everyone in my family is very German, very Bavarian. With only two exceptions everyone lives in the same region and the others are only a two-hour drive away. Without any exception no one in my family went to university, no one (apart from that one cousin in a part of the family we don’t talk to) has Abitur/A-Levels, whatever you want to call it. Most either work(ed) in an office in some kind of administration job, in retail or some kind of mechanic/builder type job. No one in my parent’s generation speaks more than very, very basic English and no one went abroad for a longer period of time. (Most even are kinda religious but that doesn’t really play a huge role in anything.) And everyone speaks Bavarian dialect.
And then there’s me. Me, who is queer/bisexual, who wants to travel loads, who is better in school than my parents or uncles or aunts ever were, who wants to get my stupid Abitur and go to university, who really wants to move away, who is an atheist, who despises speaking Bavarian and who can’t stand how conservative and narrow-minded and boring everyone is.
I feel more and more that all the things I care about, that define and interest me, are things no one else in my family gives a damn about. And this is not so much about my parents (they are really okay, they might not really get me but they are there and let me do my thing) but about everyone else and, especially, how I feel when we have some kind of gathering. Because then usually talks about kids (oh yes, I’m also not a huge fan of kids) and people I don’t know and will never know and their houses and neighbours and families and ugh… There’s rarely a topic I can talk about too. Those topics are usually politics related and yes, I can talk about that, but there again I notice that I’m way less conservative than most of the people in the room. I get bored and annoyed whenever I talk to my relatives for a while.
Last year one of my aunts asked me why I’m not speaking the Bavarian dialect that everyone uses and that I grew up with too. I think I answered something along the lines “I just don’t want to, I haven’t used it for a while, I don’t really like it”. Those points are all true but I also just don’t like to speak it because I don’t feel connected to the people that use it. I feel way more connected to people that speak high German and most of my friends speak that too AND I probably want to separate myself from my family even more AND I noticed I kind of associate heavy dialect with being less educated and/or narrow-mindedness. (That doesn’t mean I think everyone who speaks a dialect is stupid, but some are and, whatever, this mostly has to do with my family anyway.)
So yeah, I feel different from the people I’m related to and I feel like I’m not really as much a part of this family as the others are because I have all these different goals and interests. And I don’t necessarily hate that I am like this but it annoys me a lot that they are how they are (even though they can’t do anything about that, and I know that, but I can’t really help it) and that those two things don’t really fit together.
I would like for my family to be more open-minded, to be more intelligent or intellectual or educated because I would like to be able to learn from them or for them to tell me about things like university and studying and all that but no one can relate to that at all. And I think that some of my relatives kind of gave up on trying to ask me questions because they also noticed that they always ask about things that don’t really apply to me, or something (but I wish they’d try more…).
So this is part 1 of the “not belonging” existential crisis but there is more. I have no idea if anything I wrote up there makes any sense at all (or if anyone is even reading so far) but yeah.
I’m going to try to summarise part 2 as quickly as possible because my head is starting to ache badly and I want to get this all off my chest.
Additionally to all the stuff above I also realised that I don’t feel like I belong in the kinds of families that are like I sometimes wish mine was. I have a bunch of friends whose parents have university degrees and read more news and generally read more and care more about the things I also care about. But at the same time, I feel like I’m… I don’t know… fake, or not good enough when I spend time with them (not when I’m alone with my friends I guess but with several people or the families, at dinner and such). Because where I feel “superior” or smarter concerning a certain topic with my own family I feel not intelligent or educated enough with other people, other families. Because they talk differently and about different topics and sound smarter and word things better than I am used to and that kind of freaks me out and makes me feel like I should be like that too but I’m not quite. And then I worry if I will ever be like that and if I would be different if my parents would be smarter or something and then I feel bad because my parent’s decisions are theirs and I don’t have a shitty life because of them or something like that but I still question why they are like they are and why I am different and AHH.
Maybe no one understands what I’m talking about and maybe this is a very stupid and first world problem to complain or feel bad about but… I do feel bad about this and I can’t help thinking about it constantly. Also, because I feel like I don’t belong with any of the above-mentioned groups but when will I feel like I belong? With whom? Will I just get used to it or will I change or not…?