When my cousins had recently relocated to the city courtesy of their promotions, the whole bandwagon followed with kids as well as their dogs. Complete with change of residence, there was a change of schools for both the kids. Attending the new junior high was fun for my nephew, but for my niece who had relocated to middle school, it was a different situation. Over long distance calls and chats, the discussion of peer groups as well as cliches came about. Reflecting back on the entire scenario reminded me of my days at college life, wherein the same emotions ran though, that of a new place, new friends as well as the attempts to fit in.
“You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.” Mandy Hale
As each of us shift through the various stages of life, the common thread through the undercurrent of emotions is the desire or longing to belong. Whether the belonging is to a particular person or set of people, a common cause or simply a feeling of being needed; these “belongings” fills a void we perceive is there within us. Although at times, we think we could but we mayn’t be able to belong at all. When this “belonging” results us in losing our identity, self-worth and feeling of happiness and peace within, it is time to stop, introspect as well as retrospect. If in the course of the “belonging” we lose ourselves, then the outcome may cause significant damaging effect, far beyond the expected.
“Want to know the truth about belonging?
It takes courage to belong.
It takes bravery to show up in your own skin.
It’s easy to fit in.
It’s easy to blend in and hide your outrageousness.
And it’s also the easiest way to lose the precious parts of you.
You deserve to be seen. You deserve to be heard. You deserve to be known for the real deal that you are.
Stop taking the easy way out. Stop trying to fit in.
The best place in life is where you’re already okay.
Come home to you. It’s where you belong.”
While belonging is important, losing own identity and principles destroys the comfort of “belonging”. More than fitting in, we all need to be pitch in to better ourselves each day as it comes.
Life is always a learning curve. Yet if the “belonging” results in one losing own essence, it is time to switch tracks to prevent further catastrophe. We “belong” best to ourselves. By being true to own essence, one discovers that by just fitting in, we mayn’t be happy. But by being true and stepping up to own beat makes the difference in each day worth living and fighting for.