1.24.2013

oh, ok

Sometimes it's hard for me to have conversations with the people I live around.  Everyone in these small towns put so much stock into who you're related to and what high school you attended.  Someone like myself who was transplanted from Texas eight years ago doesn't possess the background or connections everyone is interested in.
Conversations usually go something like this:
"Where are you from?"
"I live in *insert name of tiny town with a population of 400 people*."
(Please note, I do not say I am from that town but just that I live there.  I don't claim it as home.)
"Where did you go to school?"
"I was homeschooled."
And that's usually where the conversation ends.  They respond with an, "Oh, ok" or maybe some sort of halfway interested attempt at asking about my homeschooling before leaving to do something or talk to someone else.  Sometimes they'll go on to ask about what I studied in college or what I do for work, but usually I can tell they've already lost interest after the first two questions.
(I know I've written about this before.  It's something I just can't seem to figure out.)
In these small towns everyone and their cousins have been going to the same church and living in the same town for the past five (or more) generations.  When they say, "I'm not from around here" they usually mean they're from a different little town ten minutes away.  Now, I'm not saying this is a bad way to live.  I just struggle with finding a way to fit in and feel accepted.  Eight years later and I'm still struggling.
(I'm not a particularly outgoing person.  I'm more likely to stand back and observe a conversation than jump into the middle of one.  This probably doesn't help with the "making friends" thing.)
I didn't grow up around families living in close proximity to each other.  Cousins didn't really go to school together.  Sure, my friends had relatives, but they weren't close by like they are around here.  Pretty much either everyone was from somewhere else or their family wasn't nearby.  I guess in a way we were all like transplants.
Going from a homeschooled social life of transplants to feeling like an outsider in the midst of family dynasties... It hasn't been easy.  I thought navigating these social circles would become easier as I got older and further away from my high school and college years.  So far that hasn't happened.