For a long while I have believed – this is perhaps my version of Sir Darius Xerxes Cama’s belief in a fourth function of outsideness – that in every generation there are a few souls, call them lucky or cursed, who are simply born not belonging, who come into the world semi-detached, if you like, without strong affiliation to family or location or nation or race; that there may even be millions, billions of such souls, as many non-belongers as belongers, perhaps; that, in sum, the phenomenon may be as “natural” a manifestation of human nature as its opposite, but one that has been mostly frustrated, throughout human history, by lack of opportunity. And not only by that: for those who value stability, who fear transience, uncertainly, change, have erected a powerful system of stigmas and taboos against rootlessness, that disruptive, anti-social force, so that we mostly conform, we pretend to be motivated by loyalties and solidarities we do not really feel, we hide our secret identities beneath the false skins of those identities which bear the belongers’ seal of approval. But the truth leaks out in our dreams; alone in our beds (because we are all alone at night, even if we do not sleep by ourselves), we soar, we fly, we flee. And in the waking dreams our societies permit, in our myths, our arts, our songs, we celebrate the non-belongers, the different ones, the outlaws, the freaks.What we forbid ourselves we pay good money to watch, in a playhouse or a movie theater, or to read about between the secret covers of a book. Our libraries, our palaces of entertainment tell the truth. The tramp, the assassin, the rebel, the thief, the mutant, the outcast, the delinquent, the devil, the sinner, the traveler, the gangster, the runner, the mask: if we did not recognize in them our least-fulfilled needs, we would not invent them over and over again, in every place, in every language, in every time.
In his or her own way, everyone I saw before me looked happy. Whether they were really happy or just looked it, I couldn't tell. But they did look happy on this pleasant early afternoon in late September, and because of that I felt a kind of loneliness new to me, as if I were the only one here who was not truly part of the scene.
It was a great mistake, my being born a man, I would have been much more successful as a seagull or a fish. As it is, I will always be a stranger who never feels at home, who does not really want and is not really wanted, who can never belong, who must be a little in love with death!
Society, as we have constituted it, will have no place for me, has none to offer; but Nature, whose sweet rains fall on unjust and just alike, will have clefts in the rocks where I may hide, and secret valleys in whose silence I may weep undisturbed. She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk abroad in the darkness without stumbling, and send the wind over my footprints so that none may track me to my hurt: she will cleanse me in great waters, and with bitter herbs make me whole.
The four of us stood in silence as we watched the surrounding girls play games or gossip. It was almost as if I did not belong here anymore. It was like I was peering in through a window from a completely different world.
Nobody, who has not been in the interior of a family, can say what the difficulties of any individual of that family may be.
I suppose this was the first time I had ever felt an urge not to be. Never an urge to die, far less an urge to put an end to myself - simply an urge not to be. This disgusting, hostile and unlovely world was not made for me, nor I for it.
Zoe stopped one last time in front of the mirror, adjusting her new American dress. She didn’t see the dress, however. She saw what the big Russian did to her. She saw what al-Qaeda did to her. She saw a person shunned by her Persian village. She saw ugliness. Every time she looked in the mirror she saw deficiency.
Maybe anosognosia, the inability to see your own disability, is the human condition and I'm the only one who doesn't suffer from it.
For the first time in years, he felt the deep sadness of exile, knowing that he was alone here, an outsider, and too alert to the ironies, the niceties, the manners, and indeed, the morals to be able to participate.
They were laughing and their hair was shining like leaves in moonlight, their limbs long as saplings. I thought, Girls are magical at this phase, girls are invincible, nothing can touch them. I didn’t think ‘us’ because I didn’t feel that; I felt other, on the outside, watching them.
Over the years most of my peers had come to hate me—I never understood why. I guess I was just different and, like dogs, they could smell it. So I never had many friends.
Half of the time I don't know what they're talking about, their jokes seem to relate to a past that everyone but me has shared. I'm a foreigner in the world and I don't understand the language.
I had chosen to play the detective—and if there is one thing that unites all the detectives I've ever read about, it's their inherent loneliness. The suspects know each other. They may well be family or friends. But the detective is always the outsider. He asks the necessary questions but he doesn't actually form a relationship with anyone. He doesn't trust them, and they in turn are afraid of him. It's a relationship based entirely on deception and it's one that, ultimately, goes nowhere. Once the killer has been identified, the detective leaves and is never seen again. In fact, everyone is glad to see the back of him.
If you've ever had that feeling of loneliness, of being an outsider, it never quite leaves you. You can be happy or successful or whatever, but that thing still stays with you.
But most of those to whom Ender's Game feels most important are those who, like me, feel themselves to be perpetually outside their most beloved communities, never able to come inside and feel confident of belonging.
Along the way I stopped into a coffee shop. All around me normal, everyday city types were going about their normal, everyday affairs. Lovers were whispering to each other, businessmen were poring over spread sheets, college kids were planning their next ski trip and discussing the new Police album. We could have been in any city in Japan. Transplant this coffee shop scene to Yokohama or Fukuoka and nothing would seem out of place. In spite of which -- or, rather, all the more because -- here I was, sitting in this coffee shop, drinking my coffee, feeling a desperate loneliness. I alone was the outsider. I had no place here. Of course, by the same token, I couldn't really say I belonged to Tokyo and its coffee shops. But I had never felt this loneliness there. I could drink my coffee, read my book, pass the time of day without any special thought, all because I was part of the regular scenery. Here I had no ties to anyone. Fact is, I'd come to reclaim myself.
Saul had gained his six-foot frame at sixteen, but his muscles didn’t arrive until his early twenties. Between those lost years, he was a gangly, uncoordinated klutz. He was told that he could improve his dancing by watching himself in the mirror. He tried. What he saw was so repulsive that he resolved never to inflict himself on a dance partner. These days, Saul hid those memories behind weight lifting and jogging. His new athletic physique hid his aimless decade as an outsider, an odd and lonely kid--as he remembered it.
The victims of PTSD often feel morally tainted by their experiences, unable to recover confidence in their own goodness, trapped in a sort of spiritual solitary confinement, looking back at the rest of the world from beyond the barrier of what happened. They find themselves unable to communicate their condition to those who remained at home, resenting civilians for their blind innocence.The Moral Injury, New York Times. Feb 17, 2015
True, beneath the human façade, I was an interloper, an alien whose ship had crashed beyond hope of repair in the backwoods of Southern Appalachia—but at least I’d learned to walk and talk enough like the locals to be rejected as one of their own.
I have forsaken her for a place I will never belong, but will always remain under her spell, forever to be, a child of my motherland.
Although this was not a comforting point of view, he did not reject it, because it coincided with one of his basic beliefs: that a man must at all costs keep some part of himself outside and beyond life. If he should ever for an instant cease doubting, accept wholly the truth of what his senses conveyed to him, he would be dislodged from the solid ground to which he clung and swept along with the current, having lost all objective sense, totally involved with existence.
She looked at me for a second and said, Oh, never mind. I guess it's true what Mom said? That you've led a sheltered life?I said I thought the description fairly apt.
All the way, Zoe kept her chin up and pretended she wasn’t mortified, but his sour expression stayed with her. She wasn’t good at making American friends. She changed her language, conduct, and clothing, but it didn’t seem to matter. Whether she wore modest Middle-Eastern clothing or cute Western fashions, everyone knew she didn’t belong.
I’ve always been a sort of self-imposed outsider, not a geeky outsider or a snobby outsider but, I just have a natural desire to live on the fringe. I’m not like a weirdo with a trench-coat but I just prefer to be alone or minimally surrounded by people.
She may have been among them but she could never be one of them. She was without inclusion for-as-much as she was not one of the girls and she wasn't one of the guys. She was an outsider gazing in, endlessly comfortless, while they wished they had what it took to be less like the others and more like her.
There's always one sure way of finding out that you're a misfit. When you're eleven years old, and your friends are telling you that they just sneaked into the theater to watch 'Twilight' and that it was sooooo emotional and sooooo terrifying and soooooo romantic! - but you've been spending the summer watching 'Rosemary's Baby' and 'Don't Look Now' and knowing the lines to all the Alfred Hitchcock films by heart - that's the moment you realize that you're a misfit.
Anna… envied Joan’s deep connection with the human race. She was a member of the club. Anna was half convinced she’d been begotten by a passing alien life-form on a human woman. It was as good an explanation as any for the sense she had of being an outsider.
I had to be strong, for every man and woman in our fair community was here to witness my beloved being put to rest, some with satisfaction, and some with relief. But all would gather an accounting of the events here today, to be relayed at future balls and parlour teas, as a comeuppance for my marrying an outsider.
What if I’ll always be the person on the outside? The person who doesn’t belong.”“You belong, Echo,” he says against my temple. “Right here with me.
I assure you; while I look like a ghost, I'm no spirit or demon. I'm nothing but a girl struggling to make her way in an intolerant world. I bleed, I love, and someday, I'll die.
What does all this mean finally, I kept asking like a college kid. Why does it make me want to cry? Maybe it’s that we are all outsiders, we are all making our own unusual way through a wilderness ofnormality that is just a myth.
Before one day, which will mean the day before today, I just played chess with a friend the strategies were incrediable the moves which I made were wise and I win the two games... This happens in other games also, however today I and two my friends we played football it ended 7 for me and my friend and for the other fried 5-6 somewhere there... We just played football!
These men are in prison: that is the Outsider’s verdict. They are quite contented in prison—caged animals who have never known freedom; but it is prison all the same. And the Outsider? He is in prison too: nearly every Outsider in this book has told us so in a different language; but he knows it. His desire is to escape. But a prison-break is not an easy matter; you must know all about your prison, otherwise you might spend years in tunnelling, like the Abbe in The Count of Monte Cristo, and only find yourself in the next cell.