In Ch. 8 of It’s What I Do, Addario details a scene where she attended Paul’s friend’s birthday party, and questions where she belongs. Addario writes about how out of place she felt in this group of people- how her clothes, background, and experiences stuck out like a sore thumb. She expressed how it made her question if she could be with Paul, when parts of his world so deeply conflicted with hers. Addario makes this conflict relatable to us because, while most of our readers have never been under-dressed at our boyfriend’s high society party, we’ve all felt out of place and ostracized. She relates herself to us, the average person, by talking about what a birthday party in New York requires “fitted jeans, a stylish top, a pair of high heels…” before describing the culture shock of the party, allowing us to see ourselves in her shoes and feel the acute discomfort and inadequacy that she felt as an outsider.
In my own life, I have experienced a similar conflict- of feeling out of place and wondering if a path is the right choice for me. It occurred at SHO time, actually- when Dr. Kirsch gave a speech highlighting all the successes and achievements of our class. Like Addario, I felt like I was in the company of people way out of my league, and wondered if this was really where I should be- thankfully, that’s not the case any more.
In my passion blog, though, I could talk about feeling like you don’t belong in the context of astronomy groups. It can be intimidating to get involved with one- you show up and it seems like everyone knows so much more than you, and it makes you wonder if it’s even worth it to continue. I want to use my passion blog to address this and say that “Yes! It is worth it!” Because here, unlike in Addario’s case, no one is judging you, and everyone just wants to help each other out.