Recently a new friend, a mentor actually, confidently said, “I have a deep need to belong”.
My first thought was, ‘Wow, did she just say that out loud?’
I, too, have always had a deep need to belong, but I thought something was wrong with me. Like I was insecure or just too needy. So to hear this thoughtful, accomplished woman voice that need with such boldness was refreshing. I stopped her on the path we were walking, put my hand on her arm, and said, “I can’t tell you how relieved I am to hear you say that.”
Her simple words resonated with me for days. Her transparency is really what birthed this Do You Belong series. Well, that, and the fact that I haven’t been able to quite find my place. Or my people.
I said in the last post that transparency was going to be key in figuring out this belonging thing.
So I’ll go first. And to be honest, I hesitated to share this chapter of my life here because I’ve written about it previously in other posts, and I don’t want to be redundant. However, it really does speak to my journey of finding out where I belong. So here are just a few paragraphs out of my backstory.
A few years ago we moved back to our hometown area. The move came about because my husband decided he needed a change. He was tired of accounting. He was tired of wearing a suit. He was tired of the city.
He is farming now. The 1966 TV comedy, Green Acres, has become my reality. “Good-bye City life…”
We sold our home and moved into a rental house close to where both my husband and I grew up. The same summer of our move, our youngest daughter was preparing for college, and our nest emptied out that fall. I thought I was prepared for all this change, but I confess I spent my daughter’s first week at college on my couch, feeling sorry for myself. My own private pity party.
I was alone a lot because my husband was working 16 hour days. I had no house to call my own. I had no children. I had no friends, community or church. Most of the roles that had defined me were gone. (I warned you that is was a pity party.)
I had no place. I had no people. And I was sure I didn’t belong here.
And of course, I know my situation was not unique. Millions of Americans move every single year. We are a very mobile people. Melody Warnick says in her book, This Is Where You Belong, “Each year around 12 percent of us move — a national game of musical chairs with 36 million players.”
36 million? That number is staggering!
However, when you are the one displaced, it doesn’t really matter if 35,999,999 other people are playing the game. You don’t know them either.
I think I’m going to let those numbers sink in for awhile, and come back to them in a later post. I will also finish my moving adventure at that time as well. This post is already up to 500 words — and seriously with over 25 more days left in this challenge, I need to ration them more efficiently.
I’ve “invited” two artists to share this space over the next two days. I hope their words impact your world.