The ‘unbelongers’

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My uncle shared a picture of a fresh harvest of grapes on his Instagram with people writing about how pretty they looked, asking my uncle to send them some, and other generic, cliched comments. The engagement levels were very organic, felt real and were through the roof.

But amidst this cluster of thoughts, I couldn’t sense any inclination towards this bonding ritual. I couldn’t feel as if I belonged.

The cycle of questions and answers catalyzed inside me. Why was I not able to relate; why couldn’t I see what other people could see? Why did I feel like I didn’t belong!

I come from the same background, the same ethnicity, share the same culture, eat the exact same food, have the same people in my vicinity, and yet I feel irrelevance.

Maybe it happens with most of us, but I don’t know many people to be sure. I can just assume, and hope, that everyone feels like I do. For once, maybe I don’t want to feel so alone, caged inside with my demons. You have to fight it alone while figuring out how to put on a face and trying to dissolve among the living at the same time!

Sometimes you want to break free. You want a room for yourself, with no windows, no doors, no people, just you and your demons.

This desire to let go and just ‘be’ overtakes my will to keep it all from crumbling, and when I think about it, why shouldn’t it be this way; why shouldn’t I be susceptible to breaking, why shouldn’t I feel fragile for once?

It is hard to put on a coat of ego and denial, and behave as if you’re strong, as if you don’t need protection – the thicker the coat, the harder it gets.

Why can’t I ask for protection, why can’t my soul seek shelter, am not worth it?

I don’t feel I belong here, and that is okay. I am 28 years old and one thing I have learned is that it is okay. Everything is temporary so it is okay.

The point, I ask, is not if I belong or not, but why do I feel like an outsider, an 'unbelonger'!

I conclude the reasons to be polar – maybe I am too smart for these people or maybe I am really stupid to comprehend what they are talking about. The conversations of growing a family, getting a job, stabilizing yourself might be of a higher intellect than me, that I cannot seem to fathom these elevations. I run out of breath.

Do you feel me? Do you know what it feels like to break through this cage?

It is more about what we want to hear than what we see.

Marco Bellotto

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