Out of Place

Over the past week, I have seen a couple of things that just do not seem to fit very well where I found them.  Thankfully, I had my phone (fully equipped with camera, of course) along for both viewings.

These are both “Can you find the out of place item?” types of pictures.  I have to admit that they made me take double takes, and I am glad that I thought to pull out the camera.


The photo above was taken outside of the Cub Food store on Brooklyn Blvd in Brooklyn Park, MN.  It is not my typical Cub location, but I had already been to two other stores in search of a specific item, and this store was “sort of” en route home.  Rather than wait for my typical Cub store, I pulled in here.  And am I ever glad that I did!

Had I skipped this stop, I probably never would have seen a smoking (you can’t see the actual smoke coming out of the thing) butt collector sitting right next to beautiful plants.

Is this irony?  That is one of the English concepts with which I have always, even as an English teacher, struggled.


You may have to look really closely to find the out of place item in this photo which was taken on the patio of Wilde Roast Café in Minneapolis.  It is within walking distance of my office, and the huz biked there on Friday to have lunch with me.  It was a gorgeous day; we had great food and conversation.  And of course – I had a blog-able moment.

Side note: my children have decided that they can now identify blog-able moments for me.  Whenever I whip out my camera, they think it might be for the blog.  To be honest, it’s kind of annoying, but I’ll get over it. I like blogging….

Back to being out of place:  the question in the photo with the bird eating food off of someone’s leftover plate is really which part of the photo is out of place? Who was here first?  The birds?  Or us?  Are they out of place on our restaurant patio?  Or are we out of place in their environment?


I have to be honest that there are many times that I feel out of place in situations.  I am not always sure how I fit into things.  I struggle with this in just about every setting you could imagine.  The odd thing is that if I am in charge of some event, then I know my place – I am the one in charge.  But other than that, I struggle.  And because I have done so much work in shedding “in charge” moments in many aspects of my life, it means that I do not know my place in many current situations.

A few years ago, a remake of Alice in Wonderland came out starring Johnny Depp.  I loved the movie as did my children.  We went to the midnight release of it, and I would do it again.  Shortly after seeing the movie, the kids and I did a crazy road trip to Grand Forks, ND, via Duluth, MN.  (Yes, I know…this is not the most direct route from Minneapolis…it was work-related).  On the trip, we listened to a cd (Almost Alice) full of songs inspired by the movie.  We still listen to the music today!

One of the songs on the cd is titled, Strange, and it talks about how someone feels – well – strange in a perfect world that has been created by someone else.  It basically speaks to the expectations that others put on us that simply do not fit us.

In your golden cage
All I feel is strange

As an oldest child who happens to be a daughter, I often see expectations even when there are none placed on me by anyone else.  I read into things and find things when they do not exist.  And then I create an entire existence and response system based on these false ideas.

And the chaos that it creates in my mind is exhausting…

I love another song that is in complete contrast to Strange.  The Avett Brothers are a group that I have come to truly respect and enjoy in part because of their song titled, Head Full of DoubtThe song basically talks about how we have a choice to live with our doubts or to live with a road full of promise.

There was a dream and one day I could see it
Like a bird in a cage I broke in and demanded that somebody free it

So … what to do when I feel strange and out of place?

Break into that cage and demand that the dream is free to fly and do whatever it is meant to do.  No one else can put cages on us unless we allow them to lock us into them.

What dreams of yours need to be freed today?

Author’s note: I found out yesterday that I have the opportunity to attend a workshop about a new curriculum from Search Institute called Sparks.  I am so excited to experience this because I think that our young people today lack Spark.  They have been fed lies that they can do anything while at the same time being held back from pursuing their dreams.  We need to feed them truth that they are capable and that they should dream.  We need to break into their cages and free them to fly with their hopes.  And we need to give them the skills to set goals so that their dreams can become realities.

1 Comment

Filed under Education, Parenting, Relationships

One response to “Out of Place

  1. Pingback: Hot Dogs at the Pharmacy? | slowingtheracingmind

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