Sorry friends, there’s not really a blog post this weekend.

My mom, my brother and I traveled together to our family reunion in the suburbs of St. Louis.

I’m there – here – right now, not belonging.

Belonging. What the fuck does that even mean?

Are you supposed to feel a sense of belonging with your family? Being with my family seems to starkly point out how much I don’t belong.

Do I sound like a whiny, emo teenager yet?

I’ve felt belonging before in my life. It’s a powerful high. It’s a powerful motivator. It can keep cynicism at bay and make you believe in higher meaning. It can give you peace and fulfillment amid the tedium and drain of life.

How do people build belonging? How do we erode it?

I looked into the face of my mother this week, and I understood that even though she loves me deeply she really does not know me. One must be known to belong.

Now that I’m an adult, very few people get to know me. I won’t let them, even the ones I love. The people in this hotel with me, many of whom love me, certainly don’t know me. I don’t know them, even the ones I love.

Belonging is elusive and hard to manufacture. It just seems to strike like an affirming bolt of lightning.

I miss belonging. My life feels empty without it.

3 thoughts on “Belonging.

  1. runa says:

    I feel like there’s this really toxic expectation society holds of “belonging” in one’s family. Which is fine if you do fit in, but just like any other human interaction, there are going to be some people you don’t mesh with, and for some of us, we just can’t force our ways into belonging with a family that was chosen for us. Find that feeling of belonging with other people in your life, because you do deserve to feel unconditionally loved and accepted, and it’s absolutely valid if that comes from a source other than your family.

    Lots of love your way. You belonged at Lab. You were easily the heart of the group.


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