What does it mean to belong?
I’ve always struggled with that…of feeling like I don’t belong…don’t fit in.
I didn’t feel like I belonged to my dad because of the emotional abuse he inflicted on us. I didn’t want him as my dad.
I didn’t feel like I belonged to my mom because she wasn’t doing what I wanted her to to protect us.
I didn’t feel I belonged in my very small hometown.
I went away to college and was placed in a room with 5 other girls and I didn’t belong. They became close as I spent most nights at my boyfriend’s fraternity house.
I joined a sorority…wanting to belong. And I did for a while until I got pregnant at 19 and became a mom at 20. All of a sudden I didn’t belong.
I didn’t really have friends…because I didn’t belong.
I entered the workforce and didn’t belong…everyone else my age was having fun being in their 20s and I was raising babies so had different priorities.
I became a single mom before my 30s and joined a small group at church for young families…only I was the only single parent. I belonged…but not like in the way theyall belonged.
I didn’t mesh well with the folks in suburbia where we lived for 15 years. They wanted big-box and a quiet bedroom community and I wanted busy city streets and independent shops priding themselves on uniqueness.
I sometimes go to a super body positive and artsy yoga studio and feel like I don’t belong. I so fucking desperately want to belong there but I feel too vanilla.
I’ve been around online business communities for 6ish years and watch everyone else seemingly belong..except me. I’m on the outside looking in…not benefitting from connections and conversations.
I’ve gone to retreats and made invaluable friendships and still don’t feel quite like I belong.
So yes – a sense of belonging has been a lifelong quest.
So where do I fit in?
The thing is..I take up space…my personality takes up space. I’m not a doormat or a shrinking violet. Not by any stretch of the imagination.
But notice what’s common throughout every statement above? Me. I’ve convinced myself through the ages that I don’t quite belong.
That’s become my truth.
Because the moment I step outside of myself and actively engage? I belong.
I’m an observer…that’s my personality. I like staying on the fringes and noticing what’s taking place around me…it’s why I’m so good at the work I do.
So is my truth that I don’t belong? Or is my truth that I like to stay on the outskirts? somewhere in the middle?
Or is it somewhere in the middle and there’s nothing wrong with that?