Almost everyday I’m reminded of not fitting in, not belonging.
dear one, what have you lost? by Arrianna Marie
“I am a wanderer. My life has been a sojourn. I do not feel that I belong in any of the places that I’ve seen, visited or called home.
Sometimes it feels like I’m enacting my childhood fantasies of running away. Other times, it feels like I’m chasing after something that I never had. Today, it feels like a loss.”
Even though I grew up with a parent in the military, I didn’t move a lot. I actually stayed in pretty much the same general area for much of my childhood though I lived in physically different addresses. Either way, constantly uprooting your life between a pair of divorced parents doesn’t exactly create feelings of stability or being rooted.
For ages – even now – I tried to find a spin on my constant upheaval. It seemed like I was never any place for more than three years. I attended the same elementary school, but went to two middle schools, two high schools and eventually two different colleges. After graduating I lived in 4 different cities in roughly 2-3 years. Sometimes, I feel as if I’m on the constant brink of change – everything is transient, nothing feels permanent, I’m always eager (and ready) to start over.
On one hand, I love traveling to various cities, meeting new people, gathering new experiences. Other times I look at people who’ve lived in one city, one house their whole lives. The type of people who go home and relive their childhood in its entirety because everything is just as they left it. The sort of person who can go back into their adolescent room, touch the walls and know exactly what poster they hung there, or what CDs laid tucked away in a drawer.
But to me… that’s unfamiliar territory.
As a teen, living with relatives, I endlessly fantasized about running away. I remember looking out my window, watching a city bus pass by and wishing that I had the courage to simply get on and take it to the last stop. Even now, I daydream about going to the airport, randomly picking a destination armed with nothing but my mind and my passport before jettisoning off to somewhere far and untouchable.
In many ways I enjoy enforcing solitude upon myself. It feels better to reject others before they can reject you. And rejection is something I’m all too familiar with – unable to create lasting bonds with college cohorts, struggling to feel connected to others in high school. Even now, I feel like I’m lost, drowning.
Where is my tribe? Do I have one? Do I even believe in them?
For the most part, I can’t seem to get grounded, settled, secure. I’m always eager to leave, to be someplace new, even if for a few months. Sometimes I want to get rid of everything, catch a greyhound and just… start over. When I want to give myself completely over to the Universe, and trust that everything will be fine.
Belonging is an interesting concept – and one I simply don’t understand. I’ve never felt I belonged anywhere, although I felt that I would or should have. I guess that’s part of my problem – how can I feel settled if I don’t even know what settled is or what it looks like?
Instead, I’m going to make peace with being a wandering nomad.