the feeling of familiarity

He said he liked the group better when Shelly was leading it. He sounded just like me when I said I liked a school club I was a part of in college when Ginny was leading it. He has no idea that’s what I thought of when he said the same thing. It’s probably better this way since he had a hard time believing me whenever I said, “me, too!” or agreed with someone. He would give me this suspicious look like are you for real? It made me feel really bad, even though I was just being myself. Is it illegal to have something in common with someone else? Is it impossible? I will never know what I did, but I know it’s not worth thinking about.

I do know the feeling he’s talking about though. Let me see if I can describe it to you. You join a group, organization or club that meets every week or so. When you go to the very first meeting, you are introduced to the members. These are people who have known each other longer and earlier than you. They have already bonded, but they are gracious to let you in and accept you. You feel welcome enough to continue attending meetings week after week. You start to form bonds with each member of the group. Members come and go, but the person leading it remains the same. This is the same person that introduced you to the group as well. You feel connected to the group now, so much that changes in membership don’t faze you.

Then out of nowhere, the leader announces she’s leaving the group. She’s moving across the country she says. Just like that, your world has shifted. Before you have time to adjust to the change, a new leader is introduced or someone in the group steps up to take her place. Then before you know it, group members move on too and you’re still there, alongside some new faces mixed in with the old. The group dynamic has never been the same, not like when you first joined the group. Not like when the first leader you met was still a part of the group. No matter how much you like the new people who have joined, it’s just not the same. It’s not that the new leader is bad. The new leader is different. You have to get used to new people too. Something is off.

There. That’s the feeling. Do you know what I’m talking about? And now every time I think of that feeling, I think of him because he said something I could relate to.

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