Have you ever felt like you don’t belong somewhere? I’m sure you have, but I’m not referring to the fleeting sensation of “I don’t fit in” that registers at the back of your mind when you encounter a new place, or set of people that’s a little beyond what you’re used to, no, I’m referring to a lack of belongingness in a man’s last bastion, the place where he comes back at the end of a weary day to hang his boots and recharge his spirits with loved ones. I’m talking about your home.
Have you ever felt like you don’t belong in your own home? The house you grew up in? The family you were born into? That’s how I’ve felt all my life. Some days are better than others of course, but through the ebb and flow of life, this feeling has more or less remained, and spilled over to other areas of life, like my extended family, school and work. Even amidst the few friends I have, I feel like an outsider overlooking a conversation. This is an odd feeling to have, but one that has sadly become the new normal for me.
I didn’t even realize what I was missing out on till I went to a friend’s home during my school years, and observed his domestic life. Sharing day-to-day experiences, troubles, laughing with your family, heck, even TALKING to your parents seemed an alien concept… but it seemed nice! Seemed like something I would want to experience myself. How does it feel to open up to your parents? Why doesn’t my family have these experiences? Why do they only point out faults and expectations? Why don’t we ever laugh together? Not finding any answers I coped by withdrawing within myself and my imaginary world. Loneliness became a way of life, with several consequences that I’d rather wish I didn’t have.
Adult life is no different. My past experiences have left me shut off from the world around me, and rather anxious around people I’m ‘supposed to’ be comfortable with. Always tiptoeing around with my words and actions, unable to express myself, I don’t know who to share my concerns or fears with, or who to ask for any sort of advice. I don’t know who I can ‘be myself’ around. And to be honest, I’m not even sure what ‘being myself’ FEELS like.
I’m getting tired of living like this, of dreaming and fantasizing of a home where I can sense some love, dreaming of a place where I BELONG, a place where I look forward to return, excited to talk about the day’s events, secure in the knowledge that here I am accepted the way I am.
I bet life would be so much more fun that way.