These reflections were inspired by a conversation on Twitter on our search for belonging and a conversation with a teenager on understanding ourselves.
I find adolescence fascinating, on the cusp of adulthood and asking ourselves profound questions and living the turmoil of finding identity, possibly, for the first time. As children even if we feel like misfits, we take the idea to be just the way it is. But as adolescents on the brink of adulthood, we want to define ourselves, as a way to feel more ‘adult’ I guess. I remember being the most conforming to my peers during adolescence and early adulthood, I was begging to be accepted as one of them. I miserably failed but I did try my best. As an adult I realise that search for identity, home, belonging starts at adolescence and continues at every step of life after.
As an adult, I feel often like I am headed somewhere where I’ll begin to feel calm, peaceful, like I have arrived. I even feel a nostalgia for a place sometimes, like I’ve been there before and the subsequent frustration of not fiding it anymore. It always seems like its just out there, one step in the right direction and I’ll reach it, touch it, feel it. But, it has always been out of reach for now. I try to follow my heart, my intuition in making my decisions hoping it leads me down a path towards a destination. Then, when I look at the mountains standing tall, snow-capped peaks, salmon pink in the sunset or when I look at the sea sweeping in and out of the shores or when I am looking at a tall tree whispering magic with the rustle of its countless leaves, I wonder if each of these moments is not me arriving, if this is not the ‘home’ feeling I am searching for. It does not last but it comes close anyway.
I have fantasized about alternate worlds, parallel universes, another planet where I might feel more at home, but then why am I here, if I am not meant to be? And the answer to that question is always I am here because I am meant to be. I have a role to play in this universe and feeling alone, misunderstood, searching for meaning, home, a sense of belonging is part of the role I am to play. I am always reminded of Rilke and I try to think that the answers will be delivered to me in good time but till then, I must live this journey, look around, observe, learn, unlearn, relearn, reflect, introspect, connect and keep doing my destiny. What else is there to do?