Longing to Belong

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I was talking to a friend about friendship and relationships, and I found myself telling him: “Well, doesn’t it feel good to be loved?”

I have good people in my life. I have a great family, whose love and support is unwavering (I feel the same way about you, fam.) , and I have friends who I laugh with, and cry with (and occasionally get drunk with) , I have friends who I listen to music with, I have acquaintances who I occasionally talk to, and yet here I am still longing to belong.

So what is it? Why do I feel so disconnected?

Maybe I’m not totally being honest with myself. Maybe it’s not the lack of relationships but the quality of relationships I’m in. I’m the kind to change and compromise my attitude depending on the people I’m with.  And I just realized how toxic that can be. I am my own self, and if I try to be someone I’m not, of course I’ll get tired and lonely.

I realized that I was too ashamed to be who I am with other people, because I am afraid of disappointing them. I am afraid of losing them. I have actually lost some of them already. 

But maybe losing them wasn’t really a bad thing. I would rather be alone, with my own web of thoughts, than spend time chasing another person’s approval. I can’t compromise my own self just for another’s affirmation.

Conflict lies in differences, but differences are also what make this life so interesting and so moving. And for people who can’t accept your differences from them will never bring any substance in your life. We connect to know, and to feel. We connect because we see beauty in diversity.

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So to whoever is reading this, I hope you find your way into finding your “people” without having to compromise who you are. (If you haven’t already). As for me, I’ll get there eventually, but at least this is a start.

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